Almonds – rich snack

Almonds are the stone fruit of the almond tree. This belongs to the rose family. The edible nutritious meat is used by humans in many ways. It is used in many variants as a foodstuff and is the starting point for numerous cosmetic products.

The almonds come from Southwest Asia

Today, it is generally believed that the almond tree originated in Southwest Asia. There it can still be found today, especially in locations that are on stony sunny slopes between 700 and 1700 meters above sea level. The botanist Carl von Linné first designated almonds by their scientific name in 1753 in the genus Amygdalus. In Germany, almonds are cultivated in wine-growing areas, among others. It is believed that the Romans made them native there.

The almond and its ingredients

The nutritional value of the almond is high. This is ensured by the protein, carbohydrates and fatty almond oil. Sugar is hardly contained, but numerous minerals and vitamins. The almond also contains an increased amount of folic acid. However, the bitter almond is not suitable for raw consumption. It contains the glycoside amygdalin, which produces prussic acid. Thus, eating larger quantities of bitter almonds can lead to serious symptoms of poisoning.

In demand as food and in cosmetics

The sweet and the bitter almond find a versatile use especially in the food industry. They are ingredients of numerous confectionery and confectionery products. Liqueurs and especially marzipan are typical products. The almond oil is a fine, fatty vegetable oil. An essential oil is extracted from the bitter almond. Both are used, among other things, for the production of cosmetics.

Well suited for pregnant women

Various epidemiological studies have concluded that almond consumption can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is advised to eat 20 grams of almonds daily to halve the likelihood of heart disease. This amount is also good to include in weight loss. In addition, almonds have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Folic acid, which is present in higher concentration in almonds, is especially important for pregnant women. 100 grams of almonds cover about 6 percent of the daily requirement of folic acid during pregnancy.

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