Healthy nibbles

ALMOND

ALMOND

DID YOU KNOW?
780,000 years
The oldest species of almonds ever discovered were found at the 780,000-year-old archeological site Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, in the Dead Sea in Israel.1 They have been harvested In the eastern Mediterranean since 3,000 BC. The Greeks spread almond trees throughout the Mediterranean. Later, the Romans introduced almonds throughout their Empire.
Nowadays, the main producing countries are the USA, Australia, Spain, Iran, Tunisia, Turkey and Chile. Almonds are marketed in various forms and for various uses, including - in shell, shelled, blanched, sliced, slivered, chopped, floured, roasted, sweetened and salted. They are used as a snack, in confectionery (marzipan, “turrón”, nougat, cereal bars, muesli etc.), food products (almond milk, ice cream, chocolate etc.), culinary recipes and also in cosmetics.
Interestingly, 100% of the almond is used for different purposes. Almond hulls, for instance, are primarily used as livestock feed, while almond shells are used for livestock bedding. In addition, almond orchard removal has been a large source of wood material for cogeneration plants2
BENEFITS
Nutrients
Almonds are high in fiber, vitamin E (α-tocopherol), riboflavin and minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. Almonds are also a source of protein, thiamin, niacin and iron.3,4
Calcium and Vitamin E
Of all nuts, almonds contain the highest amount of calcium (269 mg/100 g) and vitamin E (25.63 mg/100 g).
Cardiovascular health
Given their high content in monounsaturated fatty acids, several scientific studies have investigated the effect of almond consumption on blood lipid levels (HDL “good” cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides). The consumption of almonds as part of a healthy diet may help in the maintenance of healthy blood lipid levels and to reduce the risk of heart disease.5,6
FUN FACTS
ALMOND The Franciscan Friars brought the almond tree from Spain to California in the mid-18th century. They planted almond trees along El Camino Real (The Royal Road) from San Diego to Sonoma.
In India, almonds are prescribed as a brain tonic in Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.7 ALMOND
Bees are essential for almond growers to pollinate the trees and ensure the success of the harvest. In California, every spring, hives from beekeepers are rented to bring honeybees to the almond orchards.8
References:

1)    Goren-Inbar, N., Feibel, C. S., Verosub, K. L., Melamed, Y., Kislev, M. E., Tchernov, E., & Saragusti, I. (2000). Pleistocene milestones on the out-of-Africa corridor at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel. Science, 289(5481), 944-947.
2)    Almond Board of California (2016). Almond Board of California (ABC) Explores Alternative Uses of By-products as Markets Shift. Nutfruit. Nov.
3)    USDA Food Composition Databases. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 slightly revised May, 2016: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
4)    Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en
5)    Musa-Veloso, K., Paulionis, L., Poon, T., & Lee, H. Y. (2016). The effects of almond consumption on fasting blood lipid levels: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Journal of Nutritional Science, 5.
6)    Jamshed, H., Sultan, F. A. T., Iqbal, R., & Gilani, A. H. (2015). Dietary Almonds Increase Serum HDL Cholesterol in Coronary Artery Disease Patients in a Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of nutrition, 145(10), 2287-2292.
7)    Parle, M., & Bhoria, M. (2010). Almond: A health diamond. Ann. Pharm. & Pharm. Sci.; Vol, 1, 2.
8)    Blog of Almond Board of California (2014). Almonds and Honey Bees: A Sweet Partnership. http://www.almonds.com/blog/almonds-and-honey-bees-sweet-partnership?mobile=1