Country of origin: USA
Wonderfully delicious, almonds have long been revered as an epitome of wellness and health. The kernels are among the richest sources of health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health.
Botanically, the kernels inside the fruit and obtained from a medium size tree in the family of Rosaceae, and genus: Prunus. The plant is a deciduous tree, probably originated mineral-rich West-Asian mountain ranges that provide fertile conditions favourable for their growth. In recent years, its cultivation and processing spread across many regions of the world, including the USA.
Scientific name: Prunus dulcis.
During each spring season, an almond tree bears pinkish-white flowers that subsequently develop into fruits by autumn. In structure, the fruit is a “drupe” with centrally placed edible “almond nut” (kernel) enveloped inside a hard shell. Almond kernel features brown outer skin, oval to conical in shape, measures about 2 cm long and 1 cm wide, and weigh about 1 to 1.5 g.
Health Benefits Of Almonds
- Almond nuts are rich sources of vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health-promoting phytochemicals. These nuts compose of well-balanced food principles that are essential for optimum health and wellness.
- Almonds are one of the complete sources of energy as well as nutrients. The nuts, especially, are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids that help in lowering LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increasing HDL or “good cholesterol” in the human body. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet which is excellent in monounsaturated fatty acids helps prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favouring healthy blood lipid profile.
- The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; hold about 25 mg per 100 grams (about 170% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. It protects and restores cell membrane integrity of mucosa and skin from harmful effects of oxygen free radicals.
- Almonds are gluten-free food items. For the same reason, they are one of the favourite ingredients in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations are, in fact, healthy alternatives for people suffering from gluten food allergy, and celiac disease.
- The nuts packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Altogether, these vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism inside the human body.
- Furthermore, almonds are also an incredible source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Almond oil, extracted from the nuts, can be employed as an emollient. When applied regularly, it helps keep skin well protected from dryness. Additionally, the oil employed in cooking in Iran, and Turkey. It is also used as “carrier or base oil” in various traditional medicines, in aromatherapy, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
A handful of almonds a day provides much of recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein. Besides, almond oil extracted from the nuts employed in cooking and medicine.
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