Almonds - Health Benefits
Almonds are said to be native to the Mediterranean regions of the Middle East stretching westwards from Africa to the Yamuna River in India to the East. Archeological excavations carried out in Numeria (Jordan) reveals domestication of Almonds to have taken place somewhere between 3000-2000 BC. Today, the United States ranks as the largest producer of Almonds in the world, and much of its productions happen in California. The other leading producers of Almonds are Spain, Australia, Iran, and Morocco.
Almonds are consumed plain as well as in numerous other ways. They are processed to extract Almond oil and to produce Almond milk and Almond butter. Almond milk is a Vegan alternative to Dairy milk just like Soy milk. In India, Almonds (Badam) are used for flavoring beverages, garnishing sweets and also in making delicacies like Badam Halwa and Barfi. Almond paste is also added to enrich the taste of some traditional curries and rice preparations.
Almonds have a dense nutritional profile. They are a rich source of Monosaturated and Polyunsaturated fats and Phytosterols which are said to be useful in lowering LDL cholesterol. Everyday intake of Almonds, in prescribed measure, is healthier for the heart. 100g of Almonds provide as much as 175% DV of Vitamin E and 109% DV of Manganese and 85% DV of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). It also contains good amounts of Minerals like Copper, Magnesium, and Phosphorus and in reasonable measures other B Vitamins and Minerals.