Almonds a Healthful Snack

Almond NutsBy

Valerie Lull

Almonds, Prunus dulcis, have been around for thousands of years. Some authorities say they originated in China, others the Middle East. The ancient Romans gave almonds to newly married couples as a charm for fertility.  Almonds quickly spread around the Mediterranean; particularly Spain, Morocco, Greece and Israel. The Franciscans brought almonds to California which now produces 80% of the worlds almond crop.

There are sweet almonds and bitter almonds. The ones we usually eat are the sweet almonds.  Bitter almonds contain cyanide precursors. They are not available in the United States. Bitter almonds can be processed with heat to remove the poisonous substance and can be used in oils, food flavorings, soaps and cosmetic items.

Almonds are very nutritious. They contain vitamin E, and B2, magnesium, manganese, biotin, and phosphorus. They have a considerable amount of monounsaturated fat, which is healthful for your heart. Almonds are also a good source of fiber and protein. Almonds have many antioxidants that can protect against oxidative stress which can contribute to aging and chronic diseases. Most of the nutrients are in the brown skins that cover the almonds.

Almonds have many health benefits. They can reduce hunger, promoting weight loss. They can assist in lowering blood pressure and reducing blood sugar. Almonds can also help to lower cholesterol. They are readily available in your super market. Raw almonds are better than roasted almonds, and roasted almonds are better than none.

Awhile back I posted a blog about horseradish. If you are interested in growing horseradish in your garden you’ll enjoy this. Here’s the link

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Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

I am a master herbalist and I write a blog about general health and wellness. I discuss herbs, natural remedies and nutrition.

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