Botanical name: Prunus amygdalus Batsch.
Other names: Sweet almond, Amygdalus communis L.
Almond is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, Prunus amygdalus Batsch., of the botanical family Rosaceae, which usually reaches a height of about 3 to 6 meters. Today, almonds are a precious part of the human diet, due to its highly nutritive and medicinal values to humanity.
Carbohydrates – It is amazing to hear that almonds carbohydrate content is far less than its fats or protein content. Its carbohydrate content is significantly low. Therefore it is advisable to combine almonds with sweet dried figs or dates, or bread to complement its low carbohydrate content, since they contain relatively high carbohydrate content.
Proteins – Almonds contain very high quality proteins which are complete, I.e, contains all amino acids. In terms of high quality plant-based proteins only soy proteins surpass almonds.
Fats – Almonds contain great amounts of fats, which forms more than half of its weight. These fats are mainly monounsaturated, with smaller amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, among which linoleic acid stands out. It is known that linoleic acids performs vital functions in the nervous system.
Minerals – Almonds contains significant amounts of potassium, magnesium and iron. In fact, almonds are among the richest source of calcium in plant-based foods, the calcium content in almonds is even greater than that of milk. In terms of trace elements, they contain rich amounts of copper, manganese and zinc.
Vitamins – As known with all other nuts, almonds contain very low amounts of vitamin C. However, they contain rich amounts of vitamin E, B1, and B6.
Health benefits / medicinal uses of Almonds
Almond is considered as one of the most valued and useful oil-bearing nut, if not the best. Its highly nutritious and rich content makes them favorites in the hand of many. Below are some of its medicinal indications:
Nervous system disorders
Almonds are a great and wonderful food for the nervous system. Its appropriate combination of calcium, potassium and magnesium ions, helps prevent nervous irritability and maintain muscle tone. This effect is particularly beneficial in cases of depression, stress, and fatigue (both mental or physical). Almonds are also good in cases of nervousness since they are rich in calcium, and lack of calcium in the blood causes nervousness.
Moreover, almonds richness in polyunsaturated fatty acids, mainly linoleic, and phosphorus helps provide important ingredients of the cellular membranes of the neurons. Therefore, the regular consumption of almonds is highly recommended in cases of depression, stress, nervousness, and fatigue. It also helps tones the muscles.
Coronary disease and Arteriosclerosis
The property of almonds in cases of coronary disease and arteriosclerosis is specifically due to its mineral and vitamin content. Calcium which is present in almonds in rich amounts helps in regulating arterial pressure and is also involved in each heartbeat. Also, the vitamin E present in almonds is a strong antioxidant which helps prevent the occurrence of arteriosclerosis by halting the synthesis of plaque in the arteries.
Pregnant and lactating women
For lactating women, almonds have been proved to increase milk production. And for the pregnant women, almonds are a perfect food for them due to its richness in minerals and vitamins essential for the fetal development.
This is just self explanatory. Due to their low carbohydrate content as well as its richness in quality proteins and fats, almonds are well tolerated by the diabetics.
In cases of bone disorders such as osteoporosis and demineralization, almonds are considered a perfect food for them. Below are some reasons to support the statement:
almonds contains high amounts of the minerals that form the skeleton, mainly calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Almonds have an alkalizing effect which facilitates calcium retention.
In a nutshell, those suffering from any bone disorder can adopt the consumption of almonds as a way out.