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Lead the Charge Toward Stronger Heart Health with Crunchable Almonds

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Firecracker Almonds

(Family Features) There's nothing like the rush of an overtime touchdown to ignite the excitement - and hunger - of football fans. Every armchair quarterback or BBQ pitmaster would agree that the perfect snack is the key to the ultimate football experience.

This season, Almond Board of California is reminding men to snack smart with the MVP of snacking: the crunchy, heart-healthy almond. The perfect snack to enjoy while watching the game in the man cave or out at a tailgate party, almonds are both convenient and health-conscious, and will keep fans as energized as the players on the field.

To stay on top of their game, football pros rely heavily on a strong team of health professionals - including registered dieticians who help regulate their diet. But healthy eating doesn't stop at the end zone. Whether you're in the heat of the huddle or cheering from the stands, men need to play strong defense for their own heart health, and reevaluating the snack foods found in their pantries is the perfect place to start.

"The role diet plays in overall health is quite enormous, and often the idea of having to modify eating habits to better safeguard heart health can be a tough challenge. Men need to realize that taste does not have to be comprised by nutrition," said Robert Yang, R.D., founder of The Performance Lab in Encinitas, California. "With almonds, men are able to benefit from the snack's outstanding heart-healthy qualities as well as enjoy a great crunch and flavor."

Cholesterol-free almonds have long been known to have significant nutritional benefits and offer football fans with both a tasty and nourishing snack. In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a health claim recognizing California Almonds as a food that can help maintain a healthy cholesterol level. The claim states that "scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."

What's more, California Almonds are also an integral part of the "good" fats, with one serving of almonds (28 grams) having 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only one gram of saturated fat. This is significant nutritional impact for such an easygoing snack.

When it comes to a half-time energy boost or just something to munch on between quarters, almonds are the go-to snack for the football season. For great almond snacking ideas and recipes, as well as nutrition tips and the latest almond research, visit www.AlmondBoard.com/prosnacker.

Firecracker Almonds

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive or almond oil
  • 2 cups toasted whole natural almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne), or to taste

Preparation
    1. Combine chili powder, curry powder, garlic powder and oil in medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Heat until hot and bubbly.
    2. Stir in almonds, tossing until almonds are evenly coated and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in pepper sauce and red pepper. Allow to cool fully before serving.

Serves
8

SOURCE: Almond Board of California


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