English Name: Almond
Common Indian (Hindi) Name: Badam
- Although commonly called a nut in culinary terms, the edible part of the almond is botanically not a true nut, but the seed of a drupe. The reticulated hard woody shell surrounding the edible seed is called the endocarp (inner most layer of fruit which directly surrounds the seed).
- Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that has been shown to decrease the risk for certain forms of cancer, heart disease and cataracts. Vitamin E is also needed for healthy blood cells and tissues.
- They are also rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two good fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol.
- Almonds make an important contribution to a diet adequate in folic acid, or folate. This important B-vitamin can reduce the risk for neural tube defects (birth defects) and is necessary for making red blood cells. It may also protect against heart disease and stroke.
- Almonds provide various minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus; that are essential for bone health.
- In Ayurveda, an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent, almond is considered a nutritive for brain and nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity.
- The sweet almond itself contains practically no carbohydrates and may therefore be made into flour for cakes and cookies (biscuits) for low-carbohydrate diets or for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or any other form of glycosuria.
- Recent studies have shown that the constituents of almond have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects