Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrition and one of the most popular tree nuts in India. They find their application in medicinal oils, skincare, haircare, and as an ingredient in sweets. While people are generally aware that almonds are good for health, not many know what are their actual benefits.
In this post, we’ll discuss the uses and health benefits of almonds and almond oil.
Almonds and their Uses:
The almond tree, scientifically known as Prunus dulcis, is native to the Middle East. The arrival of almonds to India occurred very late, and the use of almonds in cooking only began during the Mughal era. However, Charakacharya, one of the prominent contributors to Ayurveda, did mention wild almonds.
The seeds obtained from the almond tree are hard-shelled and are known as ‘Shelled Almonds’. You have to break the shell and take out the almond for consumption. Shelled almonds are often used in pujas (worship). Apart from the almonds that we eat, there is a variant of the almond tree called Prunus amara, which produces bitter almonds. Bitter almonds are unsafe for raw consumption and need to be processed before eating.
Almonds are widely used in cooking, especially in desserts and sweet dishes like Halwa, Barfi, Basundi, Shrikhand, Shira, Laddus, etc. Almonds are used in ice creams, cookies, cakes, thandai, sherbets, and kheer. You can also make almond milk, almond flour, almond oil, and almond syrup from regular sweet almonds.
Health Benefits of Almonds:
Almonds are a treasure trove of health benefits and have a high nutritional value. They contain 5% water, 19% protein, 20% carbohydrates, and 54% fat. As almonds are low in carbohydrates, they help regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels, which makes them good for diabetics. They are also high in monosaturated fats, which is beneficial in controlling blood cholesterol levels.
Almonds are full of healthy nutrients and minerals such as manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and zinc. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, they’re also good for your eyes and skin as well as reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes in your body.
Likewise, almonds are also recognized for their role in aiding weight loss when combined with a low-calorie diet. In Ayurveda, almonds have been considered good for the brain and the nervous system, providing a boost to memory, intelligence, and thinking capacity. Eating almonds is said to prevent gallstones and treat constipation.
Although almonds have high nutritional value, they’re high in calories. Hence, you should consume them in moderation. Moreover, almonds are rich in oxalates, which reduce the body’s capability to absorb calcium, and when in excess, can lead to kidney stones. Hence, people with kidney and urinary tract problems should be cautious and consult their doctor before consuming almonds.
As almonds are high in fat, it is recommended to store them in an airtight container since exposure to air or sunlight can make them go rancid quickly. They can easily last for six months when stored in the refrigerator and up to a year in the deep freezer.
Uses and Benefits of Almond Oil:
Just like almonds, the golden-brown almond oil is also rich in nutrients and useful for different purposes.
Almond oil consists of 8% saturated fatty acids, 70% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 17% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats present in almond oil have been effective in increasing the level of good HDL cholesterol and lowering the levels of bad LDL cholesterol, which helps you keep your heart healthy. They also bring your blood sugar level under control and aid in weight loss.
Almond oil is full of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals present in the body, boost immunity, and lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, age-related macular degeneration, and other chronic diseases.
The vitamin E present in almond oil helps control dandruff, scalp inflammation, and damage, allowing you to make your hair shinier, smoother, softer, and stronger. A mixture of coconut oil and almond oil should be applied to the hair for about an hour before showering. This removes dirt and dust from your hair, making it cleaner.
Almond oil possesses excellent skin moisturization properties, allowing you to get softer and smoother skin, deal with skin dryness, treat conditions like eczema and dermatitis, remove wrinkles and blemishes from the face, as well as reduce stretch marks with regular application. Almond oil can also be used for body and head massages.
Almonds and almond oils are a great versatile addition to your life. Including almond and almond oil in your diet can benefit you in various ways. When choosing almond oil, you should ideally prefer unrefined and cold pressed almond oil as it will contain all the natural benefits of almonds, unlike their refined counterparts. Check out some of our best selling Cold Pressed Groundnut Oil, Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, Cold Pressed Safflower Oil, Cold Pressed Sesame Oil and Cold Pressed Mustard Oil.