These here are uber-almonds. No, they don't drive folks around for extra cash. Rather, if there was a way to impart even more almondy flavor into each almond, somehow Sunfood has done it. Imported raw and untouched by heat pasteurization, each nut is perfect, wholesome, and nutritious. They're perfect for snacking, adding to smoothies or breakfast bowls, or even on warm savory recipes like rice or stews. Taste them and see.
These almonds taste incredible — rich and sweet and deeply almond-y. They’re an heirloom species, sourced from overseas and raw to the core. No steam-pasteurization has touched these fine almonds. That's good news, since heat damages antioxidants, and almonds' nearly miraculous health benefits are attributed to their unique antioxidant profile.
Almonds are one of the original superfoods, loaded with protein & vitamin E (a rare combination), with fiber, low carbs, powerful antioxidants, heart-healthy fats, and a host of minerals and vitamins. Research continues to demonstrate the nutritional benefits of this amazing gift from nature, which are a rich and satisfying snack that can impact everything from our cardiovascular health to our blood sugar and even our body weight. But not all almonds are created equal, and it's important to make sure we're getting the complete nutritional benefits of this humble little nut without any damaged nutrients or added toxins. That's why our Sunfood almonds are organic and unpasteurized.
Unlike in the US, Italy does not mandate pasteurization of RAW almonds, so the farmers/suppliers are actually able to leave the nuts in their natural state. The nuts are harvested when ripe, then washed and dried at low temperatures before shipment to the States. You can really taste the difference between these unpasteurized heirloom almonds and the more common California almonds that are ubiquitous in the US.
You can of course enjoy these pure almonds by the handful, on salads, in trail mixes or granolas, or soak them overnight and blend into smoothies, nut butters, or nut milks. I love to make a super-creamy nut milk by blending soaked almonds with water in a 1:2 ratio (one cup almonds to 2 cups milk), and then blending with a date and a few pinches of salt. Squeeze through a nut milk bag, and behold the wonder that is fresh almond milk! You can dehydrate the almond meal that’s left behind — it’s full of fiber and other nutrients, and it’s great in homemade macaroons.
Try to soak (and any raw nuts/seeds) these before eating them; see below about phytic acid.
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All almonds sold within the US are required to undergo pasteurization. For non-organic almonds, this usually involves being sprayed with highly toxic jet fuel. BE WARNED. For organic almonds, pasteurization involves a high heat steam process. Though this is far superior to the "conventional" approach, it means that even unroasted "raw" almonds aren't really RAW. Why is that a problem?
Several reasons: 1) Heat tends to damage antioxidants, and almonds' nearly miraculous health benefits are attributed to their unique antioxidant profile. 2) Heat accelerates the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats (such as the linoleic essential fatty acid in almonds), turning healthy fats into bad fats. 3) Heat damages enzymes like phytase that are crucial to the ability of living nuts to sprout and become more nutritionally available.
Almonds are so nutritious — their list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle, except it’s all backed by science. Dive in!
With over 20% protein, almonds are a hunger-slaying snack, with most of the essential amino acids for a fairly complete protein profile.
With fewer carbs than protein, Almonds are well-suited to a low-carb diet. If you look at the nutrition panel, about half of their carb content is actually fiber, which means you can actually subtract the fiber from the total carb count, meaning that peanuts have TWICE as much protein as carbs.
Dietary fiber is also very important for digestive health, regularity, and has been linked to lower cholesterol levels and increased cardiovascular health.
Almonds are a very good source of manganese, and a good source of magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. Magnesium & potassium are both crucial minerals for bone-building and cardiovascular function, and Manganase, copper, and Vitamin B2 are vital for energy production. Just a handful of almonds provides 45.0% RDA for manganese, 25% RDA for magnesium, 20.0% RDA for copper, and about 18% RDA for Vitamin B2.
Almonds are rich with powerful antioxidants that have shown some amazing health effects in a variety of studies. Almond meat is one of the richest sources of Vitamin E on Earth. Just a quarter cup of almonds provides 50% of your daily need for this crucial antioxidant vitamin! Almond skin is also rich with flavanoid antioxidants. One study at Tufts University found that when incorporated in a heart-healthy diet, almonds are as good as statin drugs at reducing blood levels of C-reactive protein (an inflammation marker).
Not only are almonds well-known to have cholesterol-lowering, heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory effects, they also protect against the blood sugar fluctuations of sweet foods, helping sustain your energy levels while protecting against diabetes.
Consuming high-glycemic foods that quickly elevate blood sugar also causes a surge of free radicals in the blood, but studies suggest that almonds mitigate this sugar rush while also providing antioxidants to counteract the effects of any free radicals that might result. (Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Journal of Nutrition, and Jones AR, Kendall CW, Metabolism). In fact, the more almonds you eat with a sweet meal, the lower the effective glycemic index of the meal, so if you're going to indulge, keep those almonds coming!
In addition to all its other powerful nutrients, almonds also contain a variety of sterols, nutrients with potential anti-cholesterol and anti-cancer benefits.
Much of almonds' heart-healthy status comes from their high content of Vitamin E and other antioxidants, but their unsaturated fatty acid content is also a major factor in protecting your heart.
Substituting almonds for more typical types of fatty foods can reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels up to 12%. Much of this is because of almonds' oleic acid content. 62% of the oil in almonds is oleic acid — the heart-healthy component of olive oil. Oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid) is more resistant to rancidity than polyunsaturate fats, ensuring longer-lasting flavor quality. Oleic acid also has a wide range of potential health benefits.Research has long been clear about the benefits of oleic acid for proper balance of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol in the body. Oleic acid may also be responsible for the hypotensive (blood pressure reducing) effects of healthy fats like olive oil, possibly by changing the signaling patterns at the cell membrane level. Oleic acid also keeps cell membranes soft and fluid, allowing helpful anti-inflammatory substances like omega-3 fatty acid to penetrate the cell membrane more easily. (Consuming trans-fats, for example, can stiffen the walls of our cells, inhibiting their ability to ‘breathe,’ while healthy fats like oleic acid can rejuvenate the cellular membrane.)
29% of the oil in almonds is linoleic acid, an omega 6 essential fatty acid the human body cannot produce on its own. It is involved in many parts of the body's cell membrane, cell signaling, and inflammation systems. Shortage of linoleic acid is not common, and nutritionists generally advise that people reduce their intake of omega 6 oils (while increasing intake of omega 3 oils). This generalization is for the average American diet, which tends to be high in junky vegetable oils, fried foods, and very poor quality rancid nuts and other fats. For someone on a selective, health- conscious diet, a better prescription is to avoid consuming rancid omega 6 oils (often referred to as PUFAs or "polyunsaturated fatty acids") and ensure that only high quality, low-temperature, fresh PUFAs are consumed. Our carefully-processed and stored RAW almonds perfectly fit that need.
Like all nuts, seeds, and grains, almonds contain phytic acid, or phytates. Phytic acid is a concern for people who get most of their nourishment from these sources, since phytic acid may interfere with the absorption of some nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Phytic acid also inhibits certain enzymes needed for protein and starch digestion. This is why vegans and vegetarians who eat phytate-containing foods more often will try to neutralize the phytate by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting these foods.
For nuts the preferred technique is overnight soaking followed by gentle dehydration. RAW nuts contain an enzyme called phytase which (after being activated by soaking and sprouting) breaks down phytic acid. Non-RAW foodists may also roast their nuts for the maximum removal of phytic acid. These precautions are only mandatory for diets dependent on phytate-rich foods, especially when the diet is low in calcium and Vitamin A (usually from dairy and animal products). Also, phytic acid only inhibits absorption while it is in contact with foods, so snacking on a handful of nuts in between meals is unlikely to cause any problems.