A handful of almonds shoveled into your mouth can deliver all the energy you need to keep on wrestling lions or whatever it is a modern Paleo-ite needs to do.
That is, of course, somewhat dependent on the size of your hands. Tiny hands, fewer almonds, smaller lion.
Until humans somehow managed to cultivate the sweet almonds we know today, eating a few handfuls of the bitter nuts was fatal, and probably factored into numerous ancient drinking games.
Even part of our brain (the Amygdala, the part that’s responsible for processing memory and emotion) was named for its almond-like shape.
Almonds are so badass that California has laws about raw almonds. Almonds are over 50% fat, which means they help make paleo cookies taste great, AND they’ll stick to your ribs.
Even if you have little doll hands, a scoop of almonds is usually about an ounce. That’s 150 calories of rocket fuel. The rest of the nut is evenly divided between protein and carbohydrate, which means you can get a damn solid full feeling from just a few without a giant blood sugar spike.
Plus, you don’t have to carry them around in a cooler like you do with fresh meat, so you can avoid looking like that self-righteous health-food knucklehead we all know. Instead, you’ll have a bag of almonds, which is easily hidden, and can double as slingshot ammo.
The type of fat most prevalent in almonds is called monounsaturated fat, which is one of the “healthy fats” a lot of researchers geek out on for its conclusive ability to lower blood cholesterol levels.
These fats’ chemical makeup, when drawn or shown as a ball-and-stick model, has a 109-degree bend right in the middle of it (as opposed to trans fats, which are straight). Meaning almond fat is basically a boomerang that ricochets off the arterial walls and heat-seeks LDL particles to bludgeon.
I’m not sure this is exactly how it works, but the image helps. It’s not as good for you as saturated fats from healthy animals, but it’s pretty darn good.
If the almond were to write a resume, it would list a crap-ton of micronutrients in the section where you usually put “Awards from World Leaders.” Vitamin E (antioxidant), Magnesium (promotes insulin sensitivity), Riboflavin (plays a key role in energy metabolism; super-fun to say), all present and accounted for. Main point: real foods are nutritious. Duh.
Now, don’t take this the wrong way, by which I mean don’t start funnelling almonds into your face by the barrel. They’re pretty high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which, if consumed at too high a ratio to Omega-3 fats, can promote systemic inflammation.
They’re tough to digest for people suffering from intestinal permeability, and they can exacerbate autoimmune conditions. Their caloric density and versatility can lead to overconsumption, especially if you make an almond-flour chocolate cake and eat it in one sitting. Not that we would (or have).
But eaten by the hand-scoop, even if you have giant Johnny Bench hands, they pack a nutritional wallop akin to a lion-killing aboriginal boomerang. Consume at the peril of aggressive health and energy.
What about you? Where do almonds fit into your life? How do you visualize the health benefits as they rocket-fuel you?