Almonds, rich in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and calcium are known to reduce cholesterol. They are also plentiful in phosphorus that is good for bones and teeth. Since almonds are a plant food, they contain no cholesterol. They are abundant in Vitamin E, considered as powerful antioxidant with cancer-fighting qualities. They also contain potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and trace amounts of the B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin.
Although almonds, like all nuts, are high in fat, they are very low in saturated fat. Most of the fat in almonds is mono unsaturated, considered beneficial fat. A new study says they are good for digestive health too. The nut, they study found, has ‘prebiotic’ properties and helps improve digestive health by boosting the numbers of beneficial gut bacteria.
Almonds are the best choice for the people who want a healthy diet for their heart and maintain their weight.
California is the largest producer of almonds in the world. It exports to over 90 countries, with Japan and Germany being the largest importers. India is the fourth largest export market for California almonds. South Africa, Iran, Portugal, Afghanistan, Australia, and most Mediterranean countries also include in growing almonds.
Almonds along with dates, grapes, and olives were among the earliest cultivated foods. As per the sources, almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible. Earliest varieties of almonds came from China, carried via the Silk Road to Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.
Almonds were central to many cultural traditions around the world. In classical times Romans presented gifts of sugared almonds to important dignitaries as well as personal friends. At weddings, they also tossed almonds at the bride and groom as a symbol of fertility.
An early European tradition of wrapping sugarcoated almonds in sheer netting and presenting them to wedding guests symbolized fertility, happiness, romance, good health and fortune. Today they still carry on this tradition with white sugarcoated almonds as a familiar wedding favor.
Sweden uses the almond as symbol of good fortune during Christmas, serving rice pudding with an almond hidden in one of the servings. The one who finds it is promised an especially good year.
In India, almonds were first introduced many centuries ago by Persian and Afghanistan traders. People in India believe that the consumption of almonds will increase the mental ability. Almonds have long been an integral part of India’s cultural heritage, especially during festive periods and weddings.