Are Almonds Good for You?
We call them nuts, but they are really seeds. We may not think about it when they are covered in salt and mixed in with peanuts and cashews, but almonds are generally thought to be healthy. But why are almonds good for you? In this article we will discuss where the almond comes from, some basic health tips and information about almonds, and various uses for almonds.
Aw, nuts, It’s a seed!
The almond is actually a deciduous tree found in the Middle East and South Asia. It can grow from 4 to 10 meters in height, and will typically have a trunk 30 centimeters in diameter. They can also take up to five years to mature enough to begin bearing fruit.
The fruit produced by the almond tree is very similar to a peach, in that it is classified as a drupe, having an outer hull surrounding a hard shell with the seed inside. A true nut is a hard shelled fruit with an indehiscent seed (meaning it does not open to release the seed inside). Hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns are examples of true nuts.
The nuts and bolts
However you classify it, the almond remains an excellent source of nutrients. You can obtain 35% of your recommended daily allowance of manganese and vitamin E in just 1 ounce of almonds. You can also get 20% of your daily dose of magnesium from that same 1 ounce of almond. Phosphorus, vitamin B2, copper, potassium, and calcium can all be found in almonds.
Regular consumption of almonds has been noted to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They are also a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids such as Omega 9 fatty acid.
Watch out for the fat content of almonds. That same one ounce of almonds contains 14 grams of fat. So, while the benefits are great, do not over do it in one sitting. Moderation is key.
Slick uses for the almond
Similar to peanuts, almonds can be ground up into a spreadable paste known as almond butter. For those with an allergy to peanuts, almond butter can be a great alternative. If you are wondering, “Is almond butter good for you?”, consider that one tablespoon of almond butter contains the following:
1) 2.4 g of protein
2) 0.1 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2)
3) 0.5 mg of niacin (vitamin B9)
4) 10.4 micrograms of folate (vitamin B9)
Another slick use of almonds is almond oil. What is almond oil good for, you ask? Almond oil has a long history of use in the health and beauty industry. It is used to treat dry skin, as a massage oil, and part of the Indian Ayurvedic system. Loaded with vitamins E, A and B, almond oil replenishes the skin and hair. It is known to help heal scars and give a healthy shine to hair.
Let us leave you with some final health tips about how to best eat almonds for maximum benefit. You can grind them up with water, natural sugar and gum arabic to make a cleansing emulsion drink known as almond milk. Try to buy almonds still in their shell to preserve freshness. And finally, try soaking them first to improve digestion and nutrition. Most important of all, enjoy them!
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