Almonds pack a powerful-punch in the nutrition department, despite their small stature. They are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. In addition, they are a great source of healthy fats. These small superfoods are a great choice for snacking, but they are also extremely versatile so they can be used in anything from sauces and baked goods to savory dishes and smoothies.
1. Health Benefits of Almonds
1. Almonds are the source of many nutrients connected to promoting brain health.
Can eating almonds make you smarter?
Almonds have long been connected to higher intellectual levels and are considered an important food for brain development in children. High in biotin, vitamin E, and manganese, almonds naturally increase energy levels, leading to mental acuity.
Do almonds fight Alzheimer’s?
Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnatine, two vital brain nutrients shown to increase brain function. This results in new neural pathways that have been shown to decrease the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.
What’s a great way to keep your nervous system running smooth?
Studies have shown that both almonds and almond oil are nutritive to the health and overall function of the nervous system. In addition, they are a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linoleic acid, another natural anti-inflammatory.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Eating almonds benefits overall brain health and well-being and can, possibly, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Disadvantages of Almonds
1. WATER HOGS
MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF WATER FOR EVERY ALMOND TREE
Much ado has been made about the amount of water used to grow almonds due to the fact that almond trees must be watered year round as opposed to during growing season alone. While it takes approximately one gallon of water to produce an almond, but the environmental payoff far exceeds it’s counterparts.
Again, there is much ado about the damage almonds cause to the environment, but the nut, as it happens, is only a part of the almond. The shell and the hull are put to efficient agricultural use. Shells, a hard wood, are used as fireplace logs and animal bedding. Hulls are used as feed for dairy cattle. In addition, tons of dead almond trees are ground up and used as biomass fuel for cogeneration plants, contributing to the production of electricity electricity.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Almond trees are not drought resistant, but the almond is used for much more than just the nut.
3. Top 100 Almond Recipes
4. Almond Recipes in Video
No matter what form you enjoy almonds, whether it’s as milk, by the handful, or baked into a delicious treat, they pack an impressive load of vitamins and minerals that keep your body strong and healthy.
5. About Almonds
Kingdom | Plantae
Order | Rosales
Family | Rosacaea
Subfamily | Amygdaloideae
Genus | Prunus
Species | P. dulcis
WHERE DID ALMONDS ORIGINATE?
The tree nut’s exact origin is unknown, but it is believed they originated in China and Central Asia. References to almonds can be found as far back as biblical times. During the Roman era, almonds were given to newlyweds as a fertility charm. Explorers traveling the Silk Road feasted on almonds from Spain, Israel, and Morocco. When Spanish settlers began to populate the west of coast of North America, in the region now known as California, they brought almond saplings with them and the most common form of the nut was born. By the 1900s, California’s hold on almond production was firmly in place as the trees flourished in the cool, damp climate of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys of Central California. Over the course of the last 40 years, almond growth in California quadrupled, with almonds emerging as the top agricultural export of the state and the largest specialty crop export in the United States.
6. Almonds vs.
7. History of Almonds
The World’s Most Perfect Nut
The King of Nuts
The tree nut’s exact origin is unknown, but it is believed they originated in China and Central Asia. References to almonds can be found as far back as biblical times. Almonds were an especially coveted ingredient in breads served to Egypt's pharos, and many explorers ate them while traveling the "Silk Road" between Asia and the Mediterranean.
The two main types of almonds are the soft shell variety, grown in California, and the hard shell, grown in Spain and Portugal such as the Marcona and Desmayo. There are many other varieties found around the world, but these are the most popular.
Other than simply eating them and letting all the good things they do for you begin, the medicinal uses for almonds include everything from mashing them into a fine paste as a constipation aid to combining almond oil for topical relief from minor muscle pain.
Almonds are a popular ingredient in everything from granola bars to fine baked goods, as well as almond milk and almond butter. As more people recognize the health benefits of the versatile nut, you can find them in almost any food, be it sweet or savory. Almond oil is used as a moisturizer and works wonderfully at buffing out scratches on wood furniture and floors.
Vitamin and nutrient rich almonds promote heart health, aid in blood sugar regulation, increase healthy cholesterol, help in weight loss and maintenance, and have even been shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They also help build strong teeth and bones.
8. Q&A About Almonds
HOW MANY TYPES OF ALMONDS ARE THERE?
Two types of almonds can be easily distinguished: those with soft shell, mainly produced in California, and those with hard shell, like the Spanish variety Marcona or many of those produced in Portugal.
WHAT’S HEALTHIER: RAW OR ROASTED ALMONDS?
Raw almonds are definitely the healthier option as none of the nutrients have been baked off.
HOW DO YOU USE ALMOND FLOUR IN BAKING?
There are many great recipes that use almond flour instead of wheat flour. Almond flour is an optimal choice for because it’s far more nutritious than typical starchy gluten-free flours such as rice, corn, potato and tapioca, and has more protein than wheat flour.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR OWN ALMOND MILK?
- 1. Soak almonds for at least 12 hours in pure water with ½ tsp sea salt. This is an important step as it breaks down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and cultures beneficial enzymes in the almonds. (side note: soaking nuts should be done before eating them as well. Soak nuts in salt water for 12 hours, rinse them, and dry in oven on lowest heat. See tutorial above.)
- 2. Rinse almonds well. Mix almonds with pure water in blender or Vitamix.
- 3. Blend several minutes until smooth and creamy. (Warning: mixture will expand some, so make sure your blender is not full before starting it)
- 4. Strain mixture into a large bowl through a sprout bag, cheese cloth or kitchen towel.
- 5. Put mixture back into blender with vanilla, soaked dates, or other sweetener.
- 6. Pour into glass jar or pitcher and store in fridge for up to one week.
9. Nutritional Information
|Calories 164||(1 oz)|
|% Daily Value|