Living on the caveman’s diet, which the paleo diet essentially is, requires you to ditch the dairy, processed foods, and grains for whole foods rich in protein, healthy carbs, and plant-based fats contained in nuts and seeds. Since nuts are whole foods, can you eat almonds on the paleo diet?
Almonds are an excellent source of plant-based fats that you should include in your paleo diet. They are alkaline and, therefore, help maintain neutral pH levels in the gut. In addition, they contain magnesium, manganese, copper, and several vital vitamins, including vitamin E and riboflavin.
Almonds can be consumed raw, in oil/butter form, or as almond flour. However, the recommended way is to eat them whole as raw nuts.
A handful of raw almonds is all you need a day. However, a cup of almond flour has as much nutritional value as ninety almonds, so that it may be too much. Also, since almonds contain large quantities of the same anti-nutrients found in legumes (phytic acid), you might discover almond oil to be a better option.
However, there are a few other ways to rid almonds of phytic acid:
- By soaking them overnight in salty water
- By removing their phytate-rich skins
- By dehydrating the almonds using a dehydrator, microwave, or sunlight
Why You Should Include Almonds in Your Paleo Diet
Almonds Are Tasty
On top of their rich nutritional constitution, almonds are also rich in flavor. So, you won’t mind a handful of these nuts every so often.
Keep in mind that, nutritious as they are, almonds should only serve as a garnish for your diet, not as the main event. Also, consume them in moderation as they still contain large amounts of phytic acid.
Almonds Are Available All Year
Even though the freshest almonds are available in the summer, you can get almonds all year round. Their availability makes them an excellent choice for a long-term paleo diet.
Almonds are also available in various forms such as flour, oil, and butter. Still, it would be best to stick to raw nuts whenever possible as they are easier to ration and are highly nutritious.
Almonds Blend Well With A Lot Of Dishes
Whether sweet or savory, almonds will fit right into your favorite dishes, so they’re quite the versatile addition to a paleo diet. There are a lot of almond-based recipes to tinker with, whether you’re using nuts or flour.
As far as paleo options go, almonds can serve as excellent substitutes for grains and legumes.
Almonds Are Rich In Healthy Fats
Plant-based fats are good for the body, and almonds are chock-full of them. They also contain a cholesterol-lowering ingredient—vitamin E—which scientists believe can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Almonds Have Been Linked To Several Health Benefits
Studies reveal that there’s more to almonds than meets the eye. For starters, almonds are said to improve memory function, something that could help prevent or at least delay the onset of degenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Almonds are also believed to prevent insulin imbalance, biochemical inconsistencies, and osteoporosis owing to their alkaline nature. Therefore, almonds are an excellent food to eat when you want to reduce gut acidity or regulate your body’s pH levels.
A Paul Davis study done on rats also suggests that almonds may have a hand in preventing colon cancer. According to the study, almonds contain at least one almond-lipid component responsible for the reduced cancer risk observed in the rodents fed pieces of almond.
How to Include Almonds in Your Paleo Diet
Eat Almonds Sparingly
Almonds are rich in nutrients, but they also contain phytates in large amounts. You can reduce their phytic acid content by soaking them in salty water or removing their skins. However, it would be best if you still consumed them in moderation.
You only need about a handful of them per serving. If you prefer to use oil or flour, adjust the rations accordingly to avoid consuming too much fat.
Store Almonds In An Airtight Container
Almonds should be stored in an airtight container to prevent the oxidization of the polyunsaturated acids they contain. These oxidized acids are linked to several chronic diseases, so it’s wise to avoid consuming them altogether.
It would help if you also kept your almonds refrigerated to help them retain freshness and nutritional value.
Can you eat almonds on the paleo diet? Yes, but should you eat raw almond nuts every day? Probably not.
Too much of anything can get tedious or harmful, so you can keep things interesting by mixing almonds with flax seeds, cashews, and other seeds and nuts to create a healthy, paleo-friendly trail mix.
You can also substitute the occasional handful of almond nuts with a few tablespoons of almond oil or a small pastry made from almond flour.