Almond shrub or small tree from the subgenus Almond
(Amygdalus) of the genus Plum. Almonds are often referred to as
nuts, although in fact it is a stone fruit.
In size and shape, almonds are similar to a peach pit.
Almonds grow on rocky and gravelly slopes
at an altitude of 800 to 1600 m above sea level (almond
Bukharian reaches 2500 m), prefers calcium-rich
soil. Grows in small groups of 3-4 individuals,
spaced 5-7 meters apart.
Very photophilous, very drought tolerant due to good
developed root system and economical transpiration.
Blooms in March-April, sometimes even in February, fruits
ripen in June-July. Begins to bear fruit from 4-5 years
and fruiting lasts 30-50 years, lives up to 130
years. Propagated by seeds, suckers and pneuma
undergrowth. Tolerates frosts down to -25 ° С, but with the beginning of the growing season
suffers from spring frosts.
Sweet almonds differ from bitter ones by the absence of
amygdalin, which serves as the carrier of the typical amygdala
There are three varieties most commonly grown:
1. Bitter almonds (var. Amara) contain amygdalin glycoside,
which is easily decomposed into sugar, benzaldehyde and strongly
poisonous hydrogen cyanide. Therefore it is not recommended
consume bitter almonds without prior
processing, and generally should not be eaten by children. For a child
lethal dose is 10 tonsils, for an adult
– 50. In the process of roasting, roasting and boiling, cyanide
2. Sweet almonds (var. Dulcis) with sweet seeds
and a negligible amount of amygdalin. Its spice
much weaker. Used when frying fish,
3. Fragile almonds (var. Dulcis for. Fragilis) with fruits,
having a thin and fragile shell and sweet seeds.
Currently the largest plantations of almonds
are located in the Mediterranean region, China and America.
It is also grown in warm regions of Slovakia, most often
in vineyards, as well as in South Moravia and in the Czech Republic in
in the vicinity of Litomerice.
Useful properties of almonds
Raw almonds contain (per 100 g):
Calories 579 Kcal
B4 52,1 Potassium, K 733 Vitamin B9 44 Phosphorus,
P 481 Vitamin E 25,63 Magnesium, Mg 270 Vitamin
B3 3,618 Calcium, Ca 269 Vitamin
B2 1,138 Iron,
Almond seeds contain 35 to 67% non-drying
fatty oil. Almonds are one of the best vegetable
protein sources. Almonds contain almost the same
protein, how much lean meat – up to 30%. Almonds give high quality,
well absorbed protein. Protein quality is determined
the amount of essential or essential amino acids
Almonds contain various minerals,
absolutely essential for bone health. Calcium,
magnesium, manganese and phosphorus are involved in maintaining strength
bones. Almond seeds contain a large amount of
fatty oils, proteins and sugars; there are enzymes, vitamins
groups B, E.
The glycoside amygdalin was found in bitter almonds, which gives
the kernels have a bitter taste and an “almond” smell.
Benefits of almonds affect lipids
blood, especially the content of a powerful antioxidant in the blood
vitamin E. Almonds are an alternative to sources
protein of animal origin, and also contains beneficial
vitamins and minerals. Used in traditional medicine
with digestive disorders and impaired renal function.
Sweet almonds cleanse the internal organs; strengthens
the brain, especially if consumed with a lot, strengthens
vision, softens the body, throat, good for the chest;
together with sugar it is useful for asthma, pleurisy and hemoptysis,
with abrasions and ulcers in the intestines and bladder, increases
the amount of semen, soothes the sharpness of urine, gives fullness
body. Bitter almonds contain a glycoside that is easily
decomposes into sugar, benzaldehyde and highly toxic
hydrogen cyanide. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume
bitter almonds without pretreatment, and
generally it should not be eaten by children. Deadly for a child
the dose is 10 tonsils, for an adult – 50.
Scientists from Italy have found that regular consumption
eating almonds increases the body’s resistance to viral
infections such as flu and colds. Moreover,
it was observed that the substances contained in the skin of almonds,
shorten the recovery time of those women who are already
have contracted viral infections.
People use almonds with sugar for anemia,
anemia, insomnia, cough.
The most valuable ingredient is fatty oil
– its content reaches 45% in bitter and 62% in sweet
almonds. Fatty almond oil has been used in medicine
as a solvent for some injectables
with subcutaneous injection.
Remaining after processing bitter almond seeds
cake served in the last century as a source of production of bitter-almond
water used in the treatment of certain diseases
gastrointestinal tract, as well as a sedative
Sweet almond seeds are still used today, in particular
for the preparation of almond emulsion (the so-called
“Almond milk”), and cake called “almond
bran “is used as a medical and cosmetic
means for softening dry skin. Sweet kernels
almonds are used for food, used in confectionery
Due to these properties, almonds can be successfully
be used in a balanced nutrition system, especially
in cases where the consumption of animal proteins
should be significantly reduced.
Almonds are eaten raw and fried, used
as a high quality additive in confectionery,
and the products of its processing – in the perfume industry
Almonds are used in the manufacture of liqueurs. In production
drinks use and almond shells, it is not only
aromas, but also improves the taste of the drink.
Dangerous properties of almonds
Almonds are contraindicated in case of individual intolerance to the product.
should limit the consumption of this nut due to its high calorie content.
If you have an increased heart rate, it is necessary to consult
with a doctor before consuming almonds, as it has a direct
action on the cardiovascular system.
You can not eat unripe almonds, as they contain
contains cyanide, which causes poisoning. As part of raw bitter
almonds, the content of poisonous hydrocyanic acid is noted, which
can harm the body. However, from such almonds they make
oil or eat it in moderation, after frying.
Overuse of almonds can cause dizziness as well as lightheadedness.
Want to try some oriental sweetness at home? Try the recipe for sugar-coated almonds in this video.