You can buy peanuts (peanuts) all year round, especially shelled ones, but currently freshly harvested ones are sold. In fact, you can buy them cooked. I talked about peanuts in this series, taking advantage of the fact that it’s in season.

If you have ever visited my alma mater, Obafemi Awolowo University, you will notice that a particular tree is planted everywhere as an ornamental plant. It is popularly called fruit. The English name is tropical almond. The botanical name is Terminalia catappa and belongs to the Combretaceae family. After eating the fleshy part, some people break open the shell to remove the seed and eat it. Contrary to popular belief, Prunus amygdalus also known as Prunus dulcis which belongs to the Rosaceae family is the almond-bearing plant popularly sold in non-Terminalia catappa stores. Now you know the difference between the two.

Before continuing, let me talk about the confusing local names given to plants, even on the internet. While preparing this article, I saw a photo of Prunus amygdalus

(almond nut) on Google and the Yoruba name attached to it is ofio! This is wrong because the ofio is the tiger nut. I will be talking about Prunus amygdalus this week and before I start getting a steady influx of text messages asking for the local name, let me announce that this is also an exotic nut. Let’s be content with the fact that we can get them to buy here in Nigeria instead of worrying about local names that they don’t have.

Prunus amygdalus also known as Prunus dulcis is a species of tree native to Iran. It is one of the most popular nuts in the world. It is very nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Almond fat is unsaturated (healthy fat). These fats are good for your heart because they can lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol.

There are bitter and sweet almonds. Bitter almonds which tend to be a bit smaller and have more pointed ends are scientifically called Prunus dulcis var. Amara, the word amara means “bitter” in Latin. You’re not likely to munch on a handful of bitter almonds because, as the name suggests, the nut doesn’t taste good. They generally give off a considerably stronger odor and are often used to make inedible products like soaps or perfumes. Sweet almonds have a much less intense aroma, they are the ones that are considered safe and are sold in grocery stores.

Almond nut also has oil. It is a heart-healthy oil that contains monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. It is often added to many hair and skin beauty products and can be purchased as a cooking oil. There is also almond flour and it is a good substitute for wheat flour. The nut can be made into flour. Milk is also a good alternative to cow’s milk.

Some of the benefits

Almonds are rich in vitamin E: Vitamin E is a family of fat-soluble antioxidants. These antioxidants tend to build up in your body’s cell membranes, protecting your cells from oxidative damage. Almonds are among the best sources of vitamin E in the world. Several studies have linked a high vitamin E intake to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds May Help Control Blood Sugar: Walnuts are low in carbs but high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. This makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes. Another benefit of almonds is their remarkably high amount of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral involved in over 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar control. Interestingly, 25-38% of people with type 2 diabetes lack magnesium. Correcting this deficiency dramatically lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin function. People without diabetes also see significant reductions in insulin resistance when taking magnesium supplements. This indicates that magnesium-rich foods such as almonds may help prevent metabolic syndrome.

Lowers Blood Pressure: The magnesium in almonds can also help lower blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency is strongly linked to high blood pressure, whether you are overweight or not. Studies show that correcting a magnesium deficiency can lead to significant reductions in blood pressure.

Almonds May Lower Cholesterol Levels: A 16-week study in 65 people with prediabetes found that a diet providing 20% ​​of calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol levels. Another study found that eating 42 grams of almonds a day lowered LDL cholesterol levels while maintaining “good” HDL cholesterol. Participants also lost abdominal fat.

Eating almonds reduces hunger and reduces overall calorie intake: almonds are low in carbs and high in protein and fiber. Protein and fiber are known to increase feelings of fullness, which can help you eat fewer calories. A four-week study with 137 participants showed that a daily serving of 43 grams of almonds significantly reduced hunger and the desire to eat.

Almonds may be effective for weight loss: In one study, a low-calorie diet with 84 grams of almonds increased weight loss by 62% compared to a diet high in complex carbohydrates. Another study in 100 overweight women found that those who ate almonds lost more weight than those who followed a nut-free diet. They also showed improvements in waist circumference and other health markers.

.Almonds are good for the eyes

.They prevent cancer

.Good for the brain

.Good for anemia

.Good for the nerves

.The oil is good for stretch marks and hair

Scientific studies

In a study titled “The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Almonds: A Healthy Food Choice,” by Richardson et al, the conclusion is that nuts like almonds are considered an important part of a healthy diet.

In a study titled “The Protective Effect of Peanut, Walnut, and Almond Consumption on the Development of Breast Cancer,”

Alejandro D Soriano-Hernandez et al, the conclusion is that a high consumption of peanuts, walnuts or almonds significantly reduced the risk of breast cancer by two to three times.

In a study titled “Repeated Administration of Almonds Increases Acetylcholine Levels in the Brain and Improves Memory Function in Healthy Rats While Attenuating Memory Deficits in an Animal Model of Amnesia,” by Zehra Batool et al, results show that administration of almonds for 28 days significantly improved memory retention.

In a study titled “Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review”, by Soumik Kalita et al, almonds have been shown to reduce LDL-C (bad cholesterol) which is a known risk factor for coronary heart disease in several clinical studies. well conducted. trials. Studies have also looked at the effect of almonds on HDL-C (good cholesterol) and eating almonds has been found to help maintain or even increase HDL-C levels.

The skin of the nut contains tannins that prevent the full absorption of nutrients and is also difficult to digest, which is why it is recommended to soak it before use. It is completely safe to have unpeeled almonds. You can roast the nuts and snack on them.

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