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Health Benefits of Almond

          Hindi: Badam, Badam Sanskrit / Ayurveda: Badama Tamil / Siddha: Vaadumai. Unani:Baadaam Shireen, Loz. Family: Rosaceae Subfamily: Prunoideae Genus: Prunus Subgenus: avium (Himachal Pradesh and UP) Subgenus: Amygdalus Species: Amygdalus dulcis Amygdalus sativa (sweet), Amygdalus amara (bitter)

Historically almonds dates back to 3 – 8 century B C. It is the oldest and yet most widely cultivated nut crop. Whole nuts and oils of almonds are identified for its nutritional and medicinal properties. You may eat the nut as raw or toasted. The almond oil is recognized as essential oil and popularly used in massage and cosmetics. Ayurveda values almonds for its medicinal properties in the treatment of vata (Tridoshas of Ayurveda = Vata – Pita - Kapha).

The almond is a small deciduous tree usually growing to the height between 12 and 30 feet in orchards. The linear or some what ovate leaves are 3 – 5 inches long and 6-8 inches broad with a serrated margin and sharp tips. The plant bears white or pale pink flowers with five petals, five sepals and long stamens. The entire fruit measuring about 1 ½ inch to 3 inches is a drupe. It has a fleshy exocarp, hard and leathery mesocarp or hull and the edible endocarp or seed. Though the edible portion is termed as nut, botanically it is not a nut. Parts Used The unripe almond fruit is astringent in taste. It cures mouth ulcers. Almond Seed Almond is well noted for its nutritive value. Almond is also regarded as one of the important demulcent. Almond as a demulcent will quench your thirst and relieve your irritation at the

mucous surfaces. It is also well recognized as a nutritional stimulant and also used as a tonic. It is used as an efficient nutrient in curing peptic ulcers. Almond Oil The almond oil is a pale yellow colored liquid. The almond oil as demulcent and emollient will relieve irritation of your skin in certain surface level skin diseases, soften your skin and mucous membranes and also prevent them from cracking or chapping due to exposure to cold. The oil is also found efficient in preventing bedsores. The oil is also has laxating properties. The almond oil is well recognized as a carrier oil in aromatherapy and also found application as skin care oil. Ayurveda physicians use it as the massage oil to cure vata ailments. The almond oil cake is powdered and used for preparation of starch free food for diabetes patients. Carbohydrate: The carbohydrates (20 g) content is low and the rich dietary fiber (12 g) is in almond. The sugar is only 5 g. Calorific value per 100 g, the nut is reported to contain 547–605 calories. Protein: Almonds are the only good source of highly absorbable and complete plant protein with an excellent quality. The main storage protein constituent of almond is a globulin, amandin, which contains 11.9% arginine, 1.6% histidine, 0.7% lysine, 2.5% phenylalanine, 4.5% leucine, 0.2% valine, 1.4% tryptophane, 0.7% methionine, and 0.8% cystine. Amandin is the typical protein of sweet almonds. Health campaigners say that almonds rich in arginine, low in lysine is capable of reducing the risk of heart ailments. The glucoside in bitter almond is the styrolene derivatives and it is termed as amygdalin, a cyan genetic glucoside, which occurs in bitter almonds.

Fat: The fat content in almonds is 51 g. The presence of saturated fat is; Nearly half of the almonds weight is only fat. Yet there is a safeguard in almonds. (Wikipedia) Cholesterol: Almond has high mono-unsaturated fat (32 g.) and the saturated fat 4 g is and polysaturated fat is 12 g. (Wikipedia) Vitamin Content: You will not get such an amount of rich vitamin E in any nuts except almonds. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that is essential to overall well-being. Almond is one of the best food sources of alpha-tocopherol. In fact, a 28 g (1 oz) almond provides about 7.4 grams of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E or approximately 98 per cent of the vitamin E in nut is alpha-tocopherol.

Almond comprises excellent amount of Vitamin B1 Thiamine 0.24 mg - 18%), vitamin B2 Riboflavin (0.8 mg - 53%), vitamin B3 Niacin (4 mg - 27%), vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid (0.3% - 6 %), vitamin B6 (0.13 - 10%) and vitamin B9 folate (29 μg - 7%). Nutrition Data on Almond: You will find rich amount of magnesium (275 mg - 74% ), phosphorus (474 mg - 68%). You will also get an amazing amount of other minerals i.e. potassium (728 mg - 15%) and calcium (248 mg - 25%) in almond. The traces of iron (4 mg 32%), zinc (3 mg - 30%), are also found in this nut. It has also includes the traces of omega 3 fatty acids 0.15 g. (Wikipedia) Health Benefits of Almond 1) The nut has little amount carbohydrate and rich diet fiber. Almonds have surprisingly low glycemic index. Therefore the nut is recommended for people suffering diabetes and glycosuria. The risk of diabetes and insulin insufficiency is absent. People, who are gluten sensitive (wheat allergies), may use almond in their diet. Due to this reason almond is freely added in bakery items. 2) The almonds also show antioxidant properties due to the presence of the polyphenolic constituents. Almonds have properties to alleviate you from sufferings of cardiovascular ailments and the discomfort of obesity. 3) Almond is cholesterol-free.and rich in dietary fiber. Diets high in monounsaturated fat can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or the ""bad" cholesterol) levels. If you add 7 g. of almonds in your diet every day as an incremental in take, there is an amazing one per cent reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (bad) cholesterol concentration. 4) Almond has rich concentration of the bio-active ingredient called alozam oil. The alozam oil has healing properties over joint pain, back pain and cramps. The nut has the potential to reduce the effects of arthritis. The psychological disorder schizophrenia also shows good response when doses of almond is prescribed. 5) The Indian system of medicine (Ayurveda) regards almond as an elixir and this will form your nutrition for smooth functioning of your nervous system and brain. The oil, extracted from almond (almond oil), has proven aphrodisiac properties. 6) Almond restores smooth and rapid movement of wastes through your colon and thus it prevents the risk of cancer at colon.

7) Almond has properties to lower the low density lipoproteins and escalate the levels of your blood by augmenting high density lipoproteins . 8) Almond will definitely improve your complexion. It will improve your immunity and heals inflammations. It also detoxifies your liver system. Reference Soures: Almond - Prunus dulcis Almond Prunus dulcis Phytochemicals and Constituents of Almond: Prunus dulcis (Mill.) by D.A. Webb. Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. Unpublished html 5) The Almond Board of California: Studies on Almonds and Health 6) Wikipedia - Almond - 7) Zhion What are the health benefits of almonds? 1) 2) 3) 4)