The almond is a beautiful medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers. The almond tree bears fruit with stone-like seeds (or pits) within like peach, cherry and apricot trees. The seed of the almond fruit is what we refer to as the almond nut.
Almonds can be sweet or bitter. They are off-white in color, covered by thin brownish skin
The almonds we eat are sweet. They are oval with a wonderful buttery taste. Almonds are available whole, sliced or slivered in either their natural form, with their skin, or blanched, with their skin removed.
Bitter almonds are used a flavoring agent for foods and liqueurs such as Amaretto. Otherwise they are inedible as they naturally contain toxic substances. These substances are removed in the manufacturing process.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of fat found in olive oil... which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Studies show that nut consumption is linked to a lower risk for heart disease. Researchers estimated that substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in an average diet resulted in a 30% reduction in heart disease risk.
Almonds not only decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to remove smaller amounts of free radicals that result.
• Enjoy almonds as between-meal snacks.
• Spread almond butter on your toast, bagel, or on a stalk of celery.
• Add lightly roasted almonds to your salad or chop them and use as a topping for pasta, or vegetables.
• When eating carbohydrates, include almonds in your meal to help regulate your blood sugar.
fat from nuts replaces saturated fats (found primarily found in meat
and dairy products) the risk from heart disease is reduced 45%.