Almond is a delicately dry fruit and is available in the market throughout the year. It has the ability to provide health and taste to the dishes both sweet and salty. Almond is technically a seed of a fruit which you can get from the almond tree. The seed is stone less. Also, it is called almond nut. The tree has fragrant pink flowers and it is a medium sized tree. It is also called cousin of peach, cherry and apricot.
Description- Almond is a medium heighted glorious tree. Tree has pink as well as white colored flowers. The fruit of the tree has stone less seed which is known with the name almond nut. Almonds are white in color and its outer skin is of brown color. It is encased in a hard shell. There are two types of almonds. One is sweet (Prunus amygdalu var. dulcis) and other is bitter (Prunus amygdalu var. amara). Sweet almonds can be eaten. The shape of these types of almonds is oval. Generally they have wonderful buttery taste and malleable in texture. Both types of sweet almonds (with or without shells) are available in market. On the other hand, Bitter almonds are used for the preparation of almond oil.
It is also used as a flavoring agent for foods and also for liqueurs like amaretto. Otherwise these types of almonds are not edible because it has toxic substances like hydrocyanic acid. Such compounds are removed while manufacturing almond oil.
History- Ancient historic texts include the description about almonds. Even Bible has the writing about this ancient food. It is thought that almonds have been originated in regions in North Africa and Western Asia. Romans also referred almonds as the Greek Nut. Today there are a lot of countries who used to grow almonds. Some of the countries names are Portugal, Italy, and Mediterranean Sea including Spain, California and Morocco. California has only one state that produces the almonds. Here, in California, Almonds were brought many centuries ago when the missions were taken by the Spanish but when the Spanish’ mission closed, tresses were abandoned. Again, Almond trees were back in California in 19th century via eastern United States. In 1840, trees of almonds were brought from Europe and then planted all over the world but the first place was New England. The reason was that climate on the eastern seaboard didn’t fit for the cultivation of trees there. So, the trees were planted in California and planted there as well.
Health Benefits Lower down Heart diseases and LDL cholesterol- This is high fat food and is good for health. Almonds have good amount of monounsaturated fats. These kinds of fats are also found in olive oil and the oil is well known for reducing health diseases and same as almonds are also known for their heart beneficial values. Some of the studies said that if you substitute the nuts for carbohydrates in your diet then the result is that you can be able to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Another survey said that if you have combine taking almonds with your food then it can provide you additive benefits. Almonds nuts are rich in soy protein, soluble fiber and plant sterols. All these are helpful to lessen the LDL cholesterol. Also, you can see the difference even after 2 weeks of consumption. It is also helpful in lowering down cholesterol. Also, ¼ of a cup of almonds have 99 mg of magnesium and also 257 mg of potassium.
Calcium Channel Blocker– Magnesium is calcium channel blocker. In the presence of enough magnesium, arteries and veins used to feel relaxed and it reduces the resistance and thus increases the blood flow. It also increases the nutrient and oxygen flow in body. Also, some studies said that if you have deficiency of magnesium in body then are at higher risk of having heart attack and as the above said almonds are good source of magnesium.
Almonds have Potassium- Almonds have sufficient amount of potassium. Also, potassium is an important electrolyte which is involved in nerve transmission. Also, it can contract the all muscles including heart too. It is helpful in maintaining the heart functions and blood pressure too. ¼ cup of almonds has about 257 mg of potassium and also 0.3 mg of sodium. So, those who want to protect themselves from the high blood pressure and atherosclerosis can choose almonds as it will be a good option.
Diabetes and cardio problems- A diabetic person is suggested to intake less food which can lead to problem of blood sugar. Also, almonds not only help to protect you from diabetes but also cardio vascular diseases too. Almonds help to lessen the after meal rises in blood sugar and also it provides antioxidants that are helpful to mop up the smaller amount of free radicals. Also, if you have almonds along with your high glycemic index food then it will make you able to lower the glycemic index of meal. Also, it helps to lower the rise in blood sugar after eating. Save your heart- Nuts are cardio protective too.
Some of the researches said that nuts have highest total antioxidant content as compared to plant foods. Also, another studies said that those who ate almond nuts are at the 37% lesser risk of heart issues as compared to those who seldom have nuts. You can have a handful of nuts 4 times a week as it will lessen the risk of cardio problems.
Protein Powerhouse- Almonds are concentrated in proteins. ¼ cup of almonds has 7.62 gm more protein as compare to an egg. An egg contains about 5.54 gm of proteins. Improve Blood Fats- Those people who are facing the problem of blood fat levels may not keep them away from the high fat food like almonds. Some of the researches said that if you are having 2.5 ounce of almonds everyday then it can help to lower the blood LDL and also raise the blood HDL. Also, a muffin have same amount of fat as almond then why having a shy from this because it has multiple benefits too. Also, phytonutrients are found in almonds which are beneficial flavonoids.