The almond is actually the seed of fruit from the almond tree. Served as an additional ingredient in breads to Egyptian Kings, its origins are traced to Palestine. United States is the largest producer of almonds in the world. California is the main place in U.S, where almonds are grown commercially. Almonds are one of the main commercial crops in America. More than 90 countries worldwide, import Californian almonds.
In Sweden, cinnamon flavored rice with an almond hidden inside is used as a christmas gift. It is believed whoever received the almond would have a “good fortune” for a year. Ancient Romans showered newlyweds with Almonds, as a fertility charm. Americans give their guests at weddings a bag of sugared almonds. They believe it represents happiness, good health and fortune.
An almond when consumed in its raw form is considered very healthy. However, roasted almonds are tastier and a great snack. Almonds are considered nutritious nuts, health benefits of almonds are discussed below.
• High nutrient value: Almonds contain monounsaturated fats, which reduces the LDL in cholesterol, lowering the chances of heart disease.
• Antioxidant: Almonds contain antioxidants called flavanoids. These antioxidants do their work in the body by corralling cell damaging free radicals and metallic ions. Scientists have found that flavanoids have antihistamine, antimicrobial and mood enhancing properties. Thus, eating these nuts, boosts the immunity naturally.
• Healthier snack: Studies have shown that people, who eat these nuts on a regular basis, have a lower risk of weight gain. Research also suggests that, munching roasted almonds lowers unhealthy abdominal fat and reduce waist circumference.
• Regulates your blood pressure: Almonds are high in potassium and low in sodium, both are factors, which regulate blood pressure.
• Prevents constipation: Almonds are rich in fiber, like other fiber rich foods, they prevent constipation.
• Alkalize the body: Almonds are one of the few nuts, which have protein that are alkaline forming. Absence of adequate alkaline in the body leads to osteoporosis, poor immunity and weight gain.
• Strong bones: Roasted almonds are rich in phosphorous, which in turn will lead to strong bones.
• Skin care: Almond oil is recommended for newborn babies. It is known to improve the complexion of the skin.
• Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and riboflavin boosts the energy and keep you bustling with energy the whole day.
• Good for pregnant women: These nuts are considered good for pregnant women, as they contain folic acid known to reduce birth defects in newborn babies.
Culinary Uses of Almonds in Different Countries
• In China, almonds are served as a dessert, mixed with milk and served hot.
• Roasted almonds are used as ‘wedding sweets’ in Greece, and served at wedding banquets.
• In Iran, Green almonds are dipped in sea salts and eaten as a snack. People in Iran consume roasted almonds for some special occasions like weddings and new year parties.
• In Italy, nuts are used in the preparation of ‘amaretti’, a common dessert. Almond milk is also used as beverages during summer.
Roasted almonds can be a healthy snack alternative as long as the quantity eaten is limited to a handful or less to avoid consuming excess calories. Roasted almonds can be found in most super markets and online. Almonds can be consumed as a snack, even by pregnant women, as it is rich in folic acid, which prevents birth defects. Roasting the almonds at home below 170 degree Celsius, avoids the harmful exposure of acrylamide to the human body.
Health Benefits of Almonds