Almond - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Prunusamygdalus
Indian Name :: Badam
Description of Almond
The almond, known as the king of nuts, is a highly nutritious food. It is rich in almost all the elements needed by the Body. It is an effective health-building food, both for the body and mind, and a valuable food remedy for several common ailments.
There are two varieties of almonds, the sweet and the bitter. There are thin-skinned and thick-skinned among the sweet variety. The thin-skinned, known as Kagzi in vernacular, is the best for use. The bitter variety of almonds should not be used as they contain prussic acid, a deadly poison. They have, however, some commercial importance and are used for producing almond oil, perfume and cosmetics.Origin and Distribution of Almond
Almond is a native of Morocco. It has been cultivated from ancient times. The Romans called it the 'Greek nut'. It was grown in Syria and Palestine during the days of the Bible. It is now grown in several parts of the subtropical regions, especially in Morocco, Italy, France, Portugal, California and Australia. It is also cultivated in Southern Africa and many parts of Asia.
Its cultivation in India is mostly confined to Kashmir and some areas of Himachal Pradesh which border Tibet.
Food Value of Almond
Almonds are one of the best nut and seed foods. The best way of using almonds is to soak them in water and grind them into fine paste of the blanched almonds i.e., after peeling of the skin. This paste is called almond butter. It is easily assimilated and is preferred to dairy butter by many vegetarians. This butter is of special value to older people who are generally bothered with the problem of not getting enough protein in their diets. By taking almond butter, they will be able to get not only high quality protein but also other excellent food ingredients, contained in the almond, in the most easily digestible form.
The most useful preparation of almonds is the almond milk. It can be easily prepared by grinding the blanched almonds -i.e. almonds without outer coat to a smooth paste and adding cold boiled water to the consistency of the milk. With the addition of little sugar, it makes a delicious and nutritious drink. One kilogram of. milk may be obtained from 250 grams of almonds. The almond milk can be converted into curd and butter as in case of ordinary milk.
The almond milk is rich in vitamins. It possesses certain advantages over the ordinary milk. It is more. easily digestible than the cow's milk and is useful for the children with whom the cow's milk does not agree.The fat in almonds is unsaturated and as such they provide one of the most beneficial kinds of fat. In specific terms, every 100 grams of almonds contain 11 grams of indolence acid. This fatty acid is one of the most polyunsaturated and highly beneficial in lowering serum cholesterol levels.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Almond
The medicinal virtues of almonds arise chiefly from pharmaco dynamic action of copper, iron, phosphorus and vitamin B,. These chemicals exert a synergic action - i.e. increased energy due to chemical interaction and help the formation of new blood cells, hemoglobin and playa major role in maintaining the smooth physiological functions of brain, nerves, bones, heart and liver. The almond is thus highly beneficial in preserving the vitality of the brain, in strengthening the muscles and in prolonging life. It forms a vital part of all tonic preparation in Ayurveda and Unani Medicines.
Paste of almonds with milk cream and fresh rose bud's paste applied daily over the face is a very effective beauty aid. It softens and bleaches the skin and nourishes it with the choicest skinfood. Its regular application prevents early appearance of wrinkles, black heads, dryness of the skin, pimples and keeps the face fresh.
A teaspoonful of almond oil mixed with a teaspoonful of amla juice, massaged over scalp, is a valuable remedy for falling hair, thinness of hair, dandruff and premature graying of hair. Almonds should be consumed properly for beneficial results. The skin of almonds should always be removed before use as it contains irritating properties. This can bedooe by soaking them in water for one or two hours.
Almonds should be thoroughly chewed and they should not be eaten immediately after meals. They are a very concentrated food, with high calorific value. They should, therefore, be mostly used with bulky vegetables and fruits like raw turnips, lettuce, cucumbers and apple.
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