Almonds are not nuts but the seeds of the fruits that grow on the almond tree. Though, it is almost always categorized as a nut along with other dry-fruits.
These are sold shelled, i.e., with the outer covering or unshelled that is just the seed is sold. The almond tree is deciduous and grow best in the Mediterranean kind of climate which is usually found in Pakistan, Turkey, Syria and other middle eastern regions.
Various Types of Almonds
The almond, when plucked from the tree, has a greyish green outer layer called the hull. Followed by the hull is a woody shell covering the final seed, i.e., the almond that we consume.
Just like all other fruits, Almonds also come in different shapes, sizes and have a variety of tastes associated with them. The various types of Almonds are:
1) Bitter Almonds
These almonds have a slight content of Hydrogen Cyanide and are thus banned from being sold in the U.S.A. However, they are still used to make various almond products like almond liquors and Almond extract.
These types of almonds are thick and clear. They appear to be small and very smooth. They yield their fruits very slowly.
3) Chinese Almonds
Just like bitter almonds, these are also mildly toxic if consumed raw. But, these are not almonds but kernels of certain apricot varieties which are grown just for their seeds.
4) Mollar de Tarragona
These almonds are quite big and are wide in their appearance. These almonds are usually harvested in Spain.
5) Casa Nova
Even these types of almonds take time to flower. They are great in appearance usually flattened and very rough to touch.
6) Green Almonds
They are called green almonds because of the furry green covering they have. The almond is the seed within this covering. In the green stage of an almond, the whole fruit that is with the covering can be consumed. In this stage, the seed is still not hardened to a proper almond but is jelly-like in structure.
These almonds are round in shape and large in size. Thus they are considered of great quality. Even this type finds its roots in Spain.
These almonds have a thin brown shell. They appear as hard and flattened almonds. Their roots are traced back to France.
The kernels of these almonds are usually light in color with the smooth appearance. They have a thin outer layer and a flat shape.
The shell of this fruit is hard. Though they have a high production of double almonds as compared to other varieties. The Tuono is said to have been originated from Italy.
11) Ne Plus Ultra
This fruit has an attractive long and clear appearance while the kernel is long and flat with highly wrinkled skin.
The kernels bear a brown skin and are slightly pointed while the fruit itself is large.
The almonds with a really hard outer shell are categorized under this type. Their skin texture makes them a great option for flavoring as their skin has lots of wrinkles and a dark appearance.
These trees provide almonds which are thick, medium in size and pale in color. They are very attractive to look at and are hence called Bonita.
A product of Afghanistan, these almonds are small in size and have a high oil concentration in comparison to other varieties.
Even after their hard shell, these types of almonds are easy to blanch. There are a few types of almonds further categorized under this type. These almonds are generally a rich source of proteins.
These Almonds are highly appreciated for their shape. They are quite large and have a dark brown peel.
This variety grows in the middle east and is known to contribute around 4% of the world’s total production of almonds.
One of the tastiest almond varieties, with a large seed. They have a flattened appearance.
These trees bear a thick fruit with a not so thick kernel. These trees take time to flower and mature.
Health Benefits of Eating Almonds
Almonds are not just available in a wide variety, but they have a nutritive composition and are known for being one of the healthiest dry-fruits. The various benefits of consuming almonds include:
1) Almonds are considered good for the heart.
2) These nuts are rich in vitamin E which prevents certain illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and certain heart diseases.
3) Almonds help you control your blood sugar levels due to the magnesium content in them.
4) It promotes the gastrointestinal health and prevents any illnesses related to them.
5) Almonds are considered to be a good source of good cholesterol, i.e., polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats.
6) Riboflavin, Copper and Manganese help in boosting the energy levels of our body and almonds are known to be a good source of all three of these nutrients.
7) Almonds are considered a good source of Folic acid which prevents any kind of defects during the birth of a newborn.
8) It has been advised in the Ayurveda that if we consume 5 almonds a day it maximizes and improves our brain strength. Scientifically as well the almond contains certain nutrients which help in the cognitive development of our brain.
9) Almonds are known to improve our hemoglobin levels thus preventing anemia.
10) It is known to offer healthy teeth and protect against osteoporosis.
11) Almond oil massages are often referred to as newborn babies.
Almonds are not just beneficial in the nutritive sense but add the glow to our skin and assist in hair growth. Thus, almonds make us beautiful internally and Externally.
Almonds though seem so small, but they have innumerable benefits and a re-power pack of energy. Regular consumption of these nuts builds a healthy immune system and facilitates overall healthy wellbeing. Almonds consumption makes you feel energized and fit.
The large types of almonds make them even more appealing and give us options to chose the one that we are most attracted to. Thus, making it irresistible to grab and snack on.
In today’s fast-paced world where snacks are a fast source of meal and energy, Almonds can be consumed as snacks during any time of the day. Almonds in any form whether roasted or raw are healthy for our body.