The almond nut is actually the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a small deciduous tree It has white flowers and fragrant roses. Like their relatives, apricot, cherry, peach and plum trees, almond tree bears fruits with similar seed stone (or wells) inside.
A native of South West Asia, the almond tree harvested for food in the Middle East since 3000 BC. The Romans showered newlyweds with them for fertility and even almonds archaeologists discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen. Transported along the Silk Road today almond blossoms throughout the Mediterranean and even as far north as the British Isles. Almond major world producers include Greece, Iran, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Turkey and the United States.
The Super Snack-
Although roasted and salted almonds make a salty snack airline and variety chocolate covered are a special treat, raw almonds are higher in nutritional value and free of added fat and salt.
The range of essential nutrients neatly packaged by nature in almonds provide amazing health benefits. Studies show that almonds significantly reduced cholesterol levels in those with high levels. Other benefits include improved complexion, keeping eye sight and a bright and youthful hair.
A handful of almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, a good source of protein and fiber and offer heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
According to sun exposure can deplete vitamin E skin research, so it is more vulnerable to sun damage. This is why vitamin E is used in many products skin care.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that stimulates the immune system, protects cell membranes and helps the body produce red blood cells.
Almonds contain levels as high as tea and broccoli (good news for fussy eaters) antioxidants. Antioxidants deactivate free radicals are elements in the body that can damage and destroy cells and lead to everything from aging skin to cancer, heart disease and stroke.
A half cup of almonds also provides more than 500 mg of potassium (more is entirely a banana), about 3 mg of iron and 10 grams of fiber. A cup of almonds has 400 mg that is more than the calcium found in one cup of milk! Along with calcium, almonds also contain magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and -. All minerals that are essential for building and maintaining healthy bone density
Need another reason to add almonds to your diet? A portion of almonds also contains 5% of the required daily intake of zinc, a mineral that stimulates the immune system, helps in wound healing and is involved in protein metabolism. Zinc is also important in the development of the reproductive system.
The kernel itself contains almost no carbohydrates so it is an ideal flour for cakes and biscuits for people with diabetes or other low-carb diets substitute.
The dry core of sweet almond tree contains a fixed oil and emulsion. Almond oil was popular in traditional remedies for internal use of diseases such as constipation and inflammatory bowel disease. Today, almond oil is used in cooking, aromatherapy and massage oils.
Nutrients in almonds:
- Vitamin E -. Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which reduces the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and cataracts
- Folic acid – Almonds contain folic acid, vitamin B -animportant that can reduce the risk of birth defects and is needed for the production of red blood cells. It also helps protect against heart disease and stroke.
- Protein -. Almonds contain protein that is required for healthy muscles and organs and provides energy
- Iron – Almonds contains iron, which helps carry oxygen to all cells and organs
- zinc – An ounce of almonds contains 6% of the recommended daily requirements for zinc, which aids in wound healing and is involved in the metabolism of proteins. Zinc is also important in the development of the reproductive system.
- match – Almonds are a good source of phosphorus, which is the second most abundant mineral in the body. Phosphorus is needed for healthy bones and teeth and helps the body use protein, fat and carbohydrates.