The word “almond” is derived from Old French almande or alemande. Almond is an ancient food that has been mentioned in historical texts, including the Bible and thought to have originated from regions of Western Asia and North Africa. Within the genus Prunus, the almond that we think of as a nut, is technically a drupe, the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers, belonging to the peach, cherry and apricot family of trees.
Wonderfully delicious, almonds have long been revered as the epitome of wellness and health. The nuts are among the richest sources of health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health. In recent years, it is being cultivated in many regions of the world as an important commercial crop. Learn what healing powers these humble nut processes:
- Lowers Cholesterol: Almonds increases levels of vitamin E, in the plasma and red blood cells, which is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol.
- Has Anti-Inflammation Properties: Almonds have two very important fatty acids, both linoleic and linolenic acids that reduce inflammation all over the body and also help to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) while increasing the “good” cholesterol (HDL).
- May Have Anti–Cancer Qualities: Almonds high fiber content improves the movement of food through the colon, cleanses the digestive tract, thereby preventing build-up and subsequent colon cancer.
- Reduces Heart Disease Risk: Almonds with its nonfat (protein and fiber), potassium, and monounsaturated fatty acid components, improve levels of blood lipids and reduce the impact of C-reactive proteins. Flavonoids, in almond skins, work in synergy with the antioxidant vitamin E to protect artery walls from damage, while magnesium aids blood and oxygen flow, helping avoid heart attacks. Folic acid helps to reduce the level of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries.
- Strengthens Bones and Teeth: Almonds are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals, with phosphorous having a considerable impact on the strength and durability of bones and teeth, while also preventing the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis.
- Aids Weight Loss: The mono-unsaturated fat contained in almonds raises levels of the hormone cholecystokinin, which is associated with a satisfied feeling of fullness. The dietary fiber in almonds contributes to consistent bowel movements, which helps in weight loss and the general health of the body through the elimination of toxins.
- Boosts Brain Function: Almonds contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin and L-carnitine, which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. Almonds also contain phenylalanine, a brain-boosting chemical that aids healthy development of our cognitive functions.
- Strengthens Immunity: Almonds are great sources for alkaline materials, known to strengthen the immune system, as well as increase the ability to stave off diseases and various health ailments. Almonds’ high Vitamin E content contributes in fighting and eliminating free radicals from the body cells.
- Can Treat Alzheimer’s Disease: Almonds have long been known to have a positive effect on neural activity, stimulating new neural passageways and connections, preventing neoro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
- Regulates Blood Sugar Levels: Almonds help smoothen the process of absorption and processing of glucose. Almonds also help modulate the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals, offering protection from dangerous blood sugar spikes which diabetics often suffer from.
- Nurtures Skin: Almond oil is used as an emollient protecting the skin from dryness and other skin related ailments. Almond oil is one of the most revered oils in aromatherapy therapy.
- Regulates Hypertension: Almonds’ high potassium content supplemented by low sodium content helps to control fluctuating blood pressure.
- Is Gluten-Free: Almonds, being gluten free, are rare healthy alternatives for people with wheat food allergy and celiac disease.
- Boosts Energy Levels: The presence of manganese, copper and riboflavin in almonds helps in energy production and metabolic rate, without filling you up with calories or fat.
- Eases Constipation: High fiber content in Almonds eases bowel movement and expulsion of toxic waste, providing instant relief from digestive disorders like constipation.
- Helps During Pregnancy: Almonds contain folic acid which stimulates healthy cell growth and tissue formation, and reduces the incidence of congenital defects like Neural tube defects (NTDs), spina bifida and anencephaly.
- Is An Abundant Source Of Nutrients: Almonds are a superb source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils, protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, selenium, and vitamin E (powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining cell membrane integrity of mucus membranes and). Almonds also have a number of antioxidants such as the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin. These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
Have It The Way You Want It
Almonds may be consumed raw, roasted, blanched, in milk form or as supplements. They pack an impressive list of health and nutritional benefits and taste great, too! As more and more consumers become dedicated to healthy and natural life-styles, almonds have secured its place in every diet making it truly the prescription for physical wellness in the 21st century.