Almond – Nutritional Information Calories and Health Benefits
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of folate, manganese, riboflavin and phosphorus. They also contain several key nutrients in relatively high amounts. These include calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. A large part of the benefits of almonds is due to the high concentration of vitamin E contained in this nut. This means that almonds are a good source of this important antioxidant. Other nutrients, such as copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium and vitamin B6 are also present in almonds in relatively high quantities.
Nutritional information on almonds
Almonds are a good source of calcium, copper, folate, fibre, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. They are also a good source of iron and magnesium. The high concentration of vitamin E and the presence of a number of key nutrients (such as calcium, copper, folate, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, selenium and zinc) make almonds a good source of these nutrients too.
Characteristics of almonds
Almonds are a type of nut that grow on trees. They are distributed worldwide, with the majority of production taking place in China and the United States. The almond tree is a flowering tree, and when the fruit of this tree matures, it splits into two parts: the shell and the almond or seed. The almond is closely related to the peach, apricot and cherry, and can be eaten as a substitute for these fruits in baking, as well as for its flavour.
Almonds are an excellent source of protein and contain a number of essential minerals including calcium, copper, fibre, folate, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium and zinc.
Focus on the micronutrients in almonds
The main nutrient in almonds is magnesium. This mineral has many important functions in the body, and is particularly important during pregnancy. It helps to regulate blood pressure, muscles and blood sugar levels, and to maintain a healthy heart. Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight in the baby and even pre-eclampsia. The main function of calcium in the body is to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Calcium deficiency can lead to bone fragility and osteoporosis. The presence of vitamins and minerals in almonds, especially in relatively high quantities, makes them an ideal food for maintaining a healthy body.
Benefits of almonds
Strong bones and teeth: A significant number of nutrients in almonds help to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who consumed the most almonds had the lowest risk of developing osteoporosis.
Protection against heart disease: The presence of vitamin E and other antioxidants in almonds prevents heart disease. Vitamin E is known to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing oxidative stress in the body.
Maintains healthy skin and hair: Many key nutrients in almonds help promote healthy skin and hair. Vitamin E is known to prevent skin cancer, while zinc and manganese strengthen hair and promote shiny, healthy hair.
Strong immune system: The beneficial effects of almonds on the immune system are well known. Vitamin E helps prevent upper respiratory tract infections, while manganese is necessary for the production of enzymes important for immunity.
How to choose the right almond?
The best almonds for baking are ripe almonds. These are the ones that have a flavour and texture similar to pecans. Store-bought almonds are usually processed and packaged, which can affect the nutritional content as well as the flavor of the almond. Ideally, choose almonds that are not too fatty or oily. The less oily they are, the less likely they are to contain calories. Be sure to buy almonds with no added sugar, as the sugar content in almonds is very high.
How to prepare the almond?
Almonds should be soaked in water for at least 8 hours before being used in baking. This softens the almond and improves its flavour. It is also essential to change the water each time, as it breaks down the flavour of the almonds. A better option is to use almond milk or water, as both can be easily substituted in recipes.
Contraindications and allergies to almonds
Almonds are generally considered safe to consume for most people. However, people with the following conditions should consult a physician before consuming almonds:
Celiac disease: People with this condition should not consume almonds due to the presence of gluten.
Diabetic patients: Although the benefits of almonds on diabetes are well documented, diabetic patients should consume them with caution as they may need to adjust the amount of insulin they take.
People undergoing chemotherapy: The use of chemotherapy drugs may decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals from food, including magnesium.
Kidney disease: People with chronic kidney disease should not eat almonds because of the high amount of potassium they contain.
Overweight or obesity: Excessive consumption of almonds may contribute to obesity as nuts are high in calories.
Breastfeeding: Mothers who wish to breastfeed should avoid almonds as their calcium concentration is very high.
History and facts about almonds
The origin of almonds is the Middle East, but they are also cultivated in Spain and Portugal. It is also known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and India as early as 2000 BC. The almond was then introduced to Greece and Rome, and is also mentioned in the Bible – Genesis, chapter 3:2.
Almonds are a rich source of dietary nutrients and antioxidants, and are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc. They are also a good source of iron and manganese. Almonds are a good source of protein and contain a number of essential minerals including calcium, copper, folate, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, selenium and zinc.
Almonds are excellent for maintaining a healthy body and can be eaten as a snack, in desserts, as well as in the preparation of sauces and other recipes. They can be eaten as fresh, roasted and salted nuts, or in milk, yoghurt and other desserts.