Do almonds have antioxidants? Yes and a lot of them! In fact, the ORAC value of almonds is almost the same as blueberries. But the health benefits don't stop there, as they are also known for their anti-inflammatory nature, their high calcium content (2 ounces provide 14% of your RDI), high protein (2 ounces provide 12 grams), and being rich in vitamin E, magnesium, maganese, and phosphorus.Perhaps the only negative side effects of almonds are they are rich in calories. When you eat 2 ounces, you're taking in 322 calories (of which 232 are calories from fat). It wouldn't be fair to scrutinize them specifically, as all nuts are relatively high calorie. For this reason, they're best suited as a topping rather than the main ingredient of a dish.You will probably be shocked to hear that the raw almonds you buy are probably not raw. Because of a salmonella outbreak in the 00's, the USDA pressured the California Almond Board to require pasteurization for all that are California grown. Since that state produces almost the entire North American crop (over 90% consumed) it essentially means practically any you buy, whether from your favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's, or Whole Foods, is almost certainly pasteurized.Even when they are clearly labeled as "raw" they are still pasteurized, because the board understands that's an important marketing feature and therefore allows the word "raw" to be used even when the nuts have been heat treated. How can you buy truly raw almonds? One pretty safe bet is buying those that are imported from Europe, such as Italy (the bag or package will clearly mark the country of origin). Alternately there is a loop hole how you can buy real raw almonds from California. Farmers are not required to pasteurize them if selling direct to consumer. Hit up farmers markets or simply order them online, as numerous California farmers sell them direct and for great prices, too.Whatever form you eat - raw or pasteurized - they are a great source of antioxidants for your diet.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010