Almonds satisfy hunger and heart health

By Amy Khuu

February 10, 2014 Updated Feb 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Instead of reaching for the chips or candy bars, there's a simple snack that can also satisfy both your hunger and heart.

Beth Stark, Weis Markets Dietitian, explains about the heart-loving benefits of almonds and why we have a reason to celebrate.

"It doesn't seem like much, but that's all it takes, one good-sized handful, or about 23 whole, roasted almonds to reach the daily portion recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans." said Stark.

Almonds are small, but they supply several key nutrients that support a healthy heart, including monounsaturated fat, fiber, magnesium and the antioxidant vitamin E.

A recent study showed that adding 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted whole almonds to your diet every day reduced hunger without increasing body weight.

They supply 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 13 grams healthy fat per handful and are a simple way to keep your energy up while keeping your vicious cravings down.

A nice tip to for a fun way to eat almonds is to add them to Greek yogurt, use almond butter in smoothies, and snack on them after exercising.

The perfect Valentine's Day sweet treat is a dark chocolate almond candy. First melt dark chocolate and stir in whole roasted almonds, then once they're coated, spread them onto wax paper so they can dry. Then it's ready to eat.

This Sunday, February 16th is National Almond Day so head over to almonds.com for nutrition information, snacking tips and fun ways to celebrate!