Posted by: godshealingplants | January 28, 2019

ALMONDS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Originally from central and southwest Asia, almonds became a staple food that helped sustain the long journeys of nomadic tribes.

Wild stands of almond trees grew near trade routes such as the Silk Road that connected central China with the Mediterranean. Easy access allowed for the spread of the wild almond groves because almonds took root in the ground on which they fell. Evidence of this occurs even today in central California, where wild species of almond trees can be seen growing in ditches and roadways.

Nearly every ancient civilization used almonds. Hebrew literature from 2,000 B.C. mentions almonds. The Bible makes numerous references to almonds as an object of value and symbol of hope. In Genesis 43:11, for example, a famine in Canaan prompts Jacob to ask his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain. He told them, “Take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.” And the Bible’s Book of Numbers 17:8 tells of the miracle of Aaron’s rod that blossomed and bore almonds.

King Tut took several handfuls of almonds to his grave in 1352 B.C., to nourish him on his journey into the afterlife. Persians and Arabs made a milk of almond meal and water, which they valued both as a refreshing drink and as an ingredient in other foods.

Almonds are now grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco. 

ABOUT

The almond tree is a deciduous tree which can grow as high as 10 meters. The leaves of the almond tree are broad and serrated, and the sprouting flowers seen in early spring are either white or pale pink. By the time autumn comes (some 7-8 months after flowering), the almond is mature, ripe, and ready to be harvested.

Almond trees become productive and begin bearing fruit after five years. The fruit is mature in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Almond is a highly nutritional nut and is a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It contains zinc, thiamin, and niacin. It also provides vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. Compared to all other nuts, almonds are richer in nutrients and beneficial components.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Alkalize the body
  • Are Beneficial in Skin Care
  • Boost Brain Health
  • Boost Energy Production
  • Control Blood Sugar Levels
  • Help build strong bones and teeth
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Nourish the nervous system
  • Prevent Cancer
  • Prevent Constipation
  • Prevent Heart Diseases
  • Protect artery walls from damage
  • Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Regulate Blood Pressure
  • Regulate Cholesterol Level

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Almonds that are still in their shells have the longest shelf life. If purchasing these, look for shells that are not split, moldy or stained. Shelled almonds that are stored in a hermetically sealed container will last longer than those that are sold in bulk bins since they are less exposed to heat, air and humidity.

 

If purchasing almonds in bulk bins make sure that the store has a quick turnover of inventory and that the bulk containers are sealed well in order to ensure maximum freshness. Look for almonds that are uniform in color and not limp or shriveled. In addition, smell the almonds. They should smell sweet and nutty; if their odor is sharp or bitter, they are rancid.

 

Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, and if stored in the freezer, in airtight containers, almonds can be kept for up to four year.

 

Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds. Almonds still in the shell have the longest shelf life.

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

To get maximum nutrition from almonds it is best to soak them before they are eaten, or roast them. Almonds are one of only a few nuts that will actually sprout when soaked. When you soak them it neutralizes the phytate, allowing the nutrients from the nut to be released.

Almond flour is great in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Almond Milk with its mild flavor is a very good alternative for those who need to be dairy free, soy free or are vegan.

 

HOW TO ENJOY

 In addition to being eaten raw, almonds are a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods.

 

One popular use of almonds in Italy is to crush almonds into marzipan, which is used as a sweet ingredient in baked goods. 

 

Green beans with sliced almonds makes a delicious dish

Yummy chocolate chip cookies with almonds

Chicken casserole topped with sliced almonds

Scrumptious birthday cake with almonds

Pasta with pesto and sliced almonds

Home made almond butter

Kale and avocado salad topped with almond slices

Delicious chocolate cake topped with almond slices

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Almonds have consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body.

Raw almonds are very good for you, but as with everything else, moderation is the key. The mineral content is impressive and can help you with everything from osteoporosis to cognitive function. Similarly, the fat content may be high, but much of that is in the form of “good” fats.

People having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds; and remember you should always consult your doctor or nutritionist when you have doubts about your body.

 

SOURCES

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/almond-facts-didnt-know_n_4537970

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22296169

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20833991

http://www.almonds.com/consumers/about-almonds/history-of-almonds

http://mercola.com

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094527.htm

Department of Nutritional Sciences

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