Almendra . Dried fruit produced by a tree called Almond ( Prunus dulcis (Mill.) DA Webb). It is mainly cultivated in warm areas due to its low tolerance to cold. This fruit contains many properties and vitamins that help maintain a healthy life. Native to Central Asia , it occurs wild and is cultivated in southern Europe and in some areas of North and South America . In Cuba, the almond or fruit of the Malabar Almond is better known .
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- 1 Plant characteristics
- 2 Composition
- 3 Importance for health
- 1 Diabetes
- 2 Cancer
- 3 Natural aspirin
- 4 Use in the kitchen
- 1 Preparation of almond milk
- 5 Sources
The fruit is a rounded walnut, apiculate, 1.5 to 2 cm. in diameter, surrounded by a fleshy involucre at the base, divided into various foliaceous segments, lacinated and with uneven and sharp teeth. It is collected from July to September . The seeds are used in confectionery and in the preparation of soups and vegetables .
The bitter variety contains hydrocyanic acid so it is not used since it can cause nausea, respiratory disorders, hypothermia and suffocation. Twenty bitter almonds can be deadly. They are used to treat skin diseases, masks with nutritional and revitalizing effects are made. They are also used to heal superficial burns and dermatoses.
Almond milk has been used for its nutritional value as a dietary supplement in cases of anemia , growth stages and even pregnancy .
Rich in calcium , protein and vitamin E , almonds are an essential food in a healthy and balanced diet. In addition, it is a very versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes.
The almond is one of the nuts with the highest contribution of vitamin E, a vitamin whose intake is often below what would be recommended and which plays a valuable antioxidant role. 50 g daily of raw almonds cover the daily needs of this vitamin.
Another remarkable point is its fiber content. Despite its dry and homogeneous appearance, the almond has a remarkable amount of soluble fiber (10%). It is ideal to stimulate intestinal movements and to confer a feeling of satiety.
The almond is also rich in protein (19 g / 100 g), an amount similar to that of meat. For this reason, in vegetarian diets, almonds and nuts in general are of great importance.
Additionally, this nut is one of the few plant protein sources that contains arginine , an essential amino acid for children. The iron content is another of the virtues of this delicious dried fruit. Fifty grams of almonds provide a dose of iron very similar to that of spinach , of course, they are 30 times less caloric. The magnesium , the phosphorus and manganese are also other minerals that provides this nut in negligible amounts.
Almonds are 52% fat. Of these two thirds correspond to oleic acid . This means that taking almonds is very similar to taking olive oil from a cardiovascular point of view. So much so that it has been shown that in communities that consume high doses of nuts, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is lower. Another point to consider is its content of linoleic acid , essential fatty acid for the body that it does not synthesize and that it is necessary to obtain from the diet.
Importance for health
Almonds are a fundamental element to prevent heart disease and to improve blood circulation. They are essential in the Mediterranean diet known for being healthy and balanced.
Due to the series of essential elements that they contain for the organism, they make their consumption adequate in growing conditions, being a good complement to the diet.
Diet control is essential in diabetics who do not depend on insulin . The almond can be part of the diet of a diabetic. On the one hand, it is known that the association of fiber with sugars causes a decrease in the absorption rate of glucose , which makes the increase in glucose and insulin levels moderate. On the other hand, a diet of monounsaturated acids has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, in addition to having a positive effect on the regulation of the cholesterol content present in HDL and LDL and on triglyceride levels.
The almonds have a high fiber content, an element that, among other advantages, allows increasing the volume of excrement and thus diluting bile acid, lipids and sterols, reducing the carcinogenic risk.
Considered a remedy for all ills, aspirin is the most popular, widespread, and accepted medication. The natural alternative to this product is to eat a handful of almonds, although their effects are slower. The explanation lies in the fact that almonds contain a good proportion of salicylates, salts formed by salicylic acid and a base that constitute the main active agent of aspirin, to which the miraculous effects of this popular drug are due. Furthermore, due to their high caloric and protein value, almonds help regenerate the nervous system and are a good intestinal antiseptic.
Use in the kitchen
Almond is one of the most appreciated nuts in Mediterranean cuisine . This happens not only because it is a great source of minerals and proteins, but also because it is a versatile ingredient, which easily adapts to both savory and sweet dishes. Thus we can consume them in appetizers, sauces , nougat, stuffed with vegetables and vegetables or horchata .
Preparation of almond milk
Almond milk, vegetable milk, is of great importance for pregnant women, infants, to combat nervous diseases, malnutrition , weakness, anemia.
Take 7 to 18 almonds, depending on the amount of milk you want to prepare, leave them to soak in cold water , overnight; the skin is removed, they liquefy and strain; it is taken slowly and in the climate, since the heat destroys the nutritional values, therefore it should not be boiled. In colds or flu this drink favors the elimination of toxins .