Almond is essentially a drupe, and one has to crack the outer covering to eat the actual nut. Almond nuts belong to the plum family. The English name for this fiber rich nut originates from the French word allemande or almande. The French name of this tree nut in turn has its roots in the Latin word “amygdalus”, which means “tonsil plum”. Almonds are one of the very few nuts that have relatively less fat content and are low in calories as well.
History of Almonds
Almond trees are native to the Mediterranean region and even today, these trees can easily be located in countries of West Asia and North Africa. Romans often refer to these nuts as “Greek nuts” since almonds were first grown in Greece. Almonds find a reference even in the Bible. In the recipe of “Forme of Cury” written in 1390, oyster gravy is prepared using blanched almonds. Spanish traders brought almonds to California, which is the present almond capital of the world, and where more than 100 types of this nut are cultivated today.
Health Benefits of Almonds
• A handful of almonds consumed daily aid weight loss, regulate blood pressure, and bring down the chances of coronary heart disease.
• Almond helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels and improves lipid profile.
• Almonds are a good source of Vitamin B2, E, copper, manganese, and potassium.
• The presence of flavonoids in almonds prevents the growth of tumor cells in the prostate and lungs.
• Almonds also assist in stabilizing blood sugar levels and are therefore beneficial for diabetics.