The almond we think of as a nut is actually the seed of a fruit of the almond tree. Like its cousins the peach, cherry and apricot trees, the almond tree bears small fruits with stone-like seeds or pits inside. The seed of the almond fruit that we like to think as a nut is what we eat. 1
Almonds are an ancient food that originated in the Mediterranean and were brought to America, specifically California, in the 1800s. They’re off-white in color when raw and covered by a thin, brownish skin and encased in a hard shell. Almonds are classified into two categories, sweet and bitter. 1
Sweet almonds are the type that are eaten. They’re available whole, sliced or slivered in their natural form or blanched with their skin removed.
Bitter almonds are used to make almond oil that’s used as a flavoring agent for foods and liquors. They’re otherwise inedible as they contain hydrocyanic acid which is boiled out in manufacturing almond oil.
Almond Health Uses and Health Benefits
Almonds are nutrient rich and high in antioxidants, including:
- Monounsaturated fats
- Vitamin E
One of the healthiest aspect n in the almond skin which contains phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids typically associated with vegetables and fruits.1,3
Almonds are recognized for health uses and benefits in a variety of ailments, disorders and diseases. Some of the best uses of almonds as home remedies and treatments include:
- Impotence - Almonds have long been considered a great aphrodisiac and people have been using it for thousands of years. Impotence is the inability to get or maintain an erection. Being high in vitamin E, almonds promote healthy blood flow and circulation. They’re also rich in zinc, manganese and copper.
- Heartburn - Heartburn is a common indigestion condition where pressure is put on the stomach and esophagus, causing a burning discomfort. Almonds are high in fiber and easy to digest making them a great heartburn reliever.
- Acid Reflux - Acid reflux is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s caused by stomach acid moving up into the esophagus resulting in regurgitation and nausea. As with heartburn, almonds are a great relief.
- Cataracts - Cataracts are clouding of the eye lens and are common in older people. They cause blurry vision and dizziness. A solution of almonds soaked overnight in milk dripped into the eyes reduces redness and irritation caused by cataracts.
- Osteoporosis - This disease causes brittle and weak bones from a reduction of bone mineral density. With almonds being high in density-building minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, almonds are a perfect natural supplement for osteoporosis.
- Ovarian Cyst - These are fluid-filled sacs within the ovaries. They’re rarely harmful and most go away on their own, however, a regular intake of almond nutrition is an excellent cure as well as a prevention of ovarian cysts.
Almond Side Effects and Precautions
Almond side effects are very few in relation to their tremendous health benefits. Almonds have been consistently determined to have a high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods and must be restricted in consumption to prevent over-accumulation inside the body. Almonds should be eaten as a supplement or a snack as opposed to being a main dietary source. 1
Almonds, like other tree nuts, have a high incidence of contributing to allergic reactions. Almonds are among the eight food types to be considered major food allergens and are required to be identified on food labels. 1