Almonds (Prunus dulcis) are considered nuts but the fruit of the almond tree is not a true nut, but a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed “nut” inside. Almonds are commonly sold after the shells are removed or unshelled with the shells still attached.
Generally eaten raw or roasted, almonds also have a variety of culinary uses. It can be added to salads or sprinkled over desserts, and it’s often used in baking. You can also find almond butter, a similar product to peanut butter.
Almonds contain approximately 49% oils, of which 62% is monounsaturated oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid), 24% is linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid), and 6% is palmitic acid (a saturated fatty acid).
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, containing 26 mg per 100 g. They are also rich in dietary fiber, all types of vitamin B, and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. Almonds also contain monounsaturated fat, which potentially may lower LDL cholesterol, and phytosterols, associated with cholesterol-lowering properties.
In spite of the high fat content of almonds, studies have shown that eating almonds regularly may help to lower several factors associated with heart disease, including cholesterol and blood lipids. However, like many nuts, almonds may cause allergy or intolerance.
In addition, almonds are used in personal care products. Almond oil can be applied to the skin as an emollient, and has been traditionally used by massage therapists to lubricate the skin during a massage session.
|NOW Foods – Almonds – Natural & Unblanched – 1 lb.|
|Woodstock Farms – Organic Almonds – 8 oz.|