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The almond is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. "Almond" is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree. Within the genus Prunus, it is classified with the peach in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated shell surrounding the seed.

The fruit of the almond is a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed (which is not a true nut) inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are sold shelled (i.e., after the shells are removed), or unshelled (i.e., with the shells still attached). Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo.

The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 3–5 inches long, with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm petiole. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring.

Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the third year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.

Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.

Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels.

It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

Almonds help build strong bones and teeth. The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.

They provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss. Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them in a study involving 8865 adults. 
Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.

They help provide good brain function. Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
They nourish the nervous system. According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity.

They alkalize the body. Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming.  When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.

Read More at Wikipedia

Nutrition Data for Nuts, almonds (12061)

NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, whole1 cup, sliced1 cup, slivered1 cup, ground1 oz (23 whole kernels)1 almond
Water4.41 g6.3063 g4.0572 g4.7628 g4.1895 g1.250235 g0.05292 g
Energy579 kcal827.97 kcal532.68 kcal625.32 kcal550.05 kcal164.1465 kcal6.948 kcal
Protein21.15 g30.2445 g19.458 g22.842 g20.0925 g5.996025 g0.2538 g
Total lipid (fat)49.93 g71.3999 g45.9356 g53.9244 g47.4335 g14.155155 g0.59916 g
Carbohydrate, by difference21.55 g30.8165 g19.826 g23.274 g20.4725 g6.109425 g0.2586 g
Fiber, total dietary12.5 g17.875 g11.5 g13.5 g11.875 g3.54375 g0.15 g
Sugars, total4.2 g6.006 g3.864 g4.536 g3.99 g1.1907 g0.0504 g
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, whole1 cup, sliced1 cup, slivered1 cup, ground1 oz (23 whole kernels)1 almond
Calcium, Ca269 mg384.67 mg247.48 mg290.52 mg255.55 mg76.2615 mg3.228 mg
Iron, Fe3.71 mg5.3053 mg3.4132 mg4.0068 mg3.5245 mg1.051785 mg0.04452 mg
Magnesium, Mg270 mg386.1 mg248.4 mg291.6 mg256.5 mg76.545 mg3.24 mg
Phosphorus, P481 mg687.83 mg442.52 mg519.48 mg456.95 mg136.3635 mg5.772 mg
Potassium, K733 mg1048.19 mg674.36 mg791.64 mg696.35 mg207.8055 mg8.796 mg
Sodium, Na1 mg1.43 mg0.92 mg1.08 mg0.95 mg0.2835 mg0.012 mg
Zinc, Zn3.12 mg4.4616 mg2.8704 mg3.3696 mg2.964 mg0.88452 mg0.03744 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, whole1 cup, sliced1 cup, slivered1 cup, ground1 oz (23 whole kernels)1 almond
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
Thiamin0.205 mg0.29315 mg0.1886 mg0.2214 mg0.19475 mg0.0581175 mg0.00246 mg
Riboflavin1.138 mg1.62734 mg1.04696 mg1.22904 mg1.0811 mg0.322623 mg0.013656 mg
Niacin3.618 mg5.17374 mg3.32856 mg3.90744 mg3.4371 mg1.025703 mg0.043416 mg
Vitamin B-60.137 mg0.19591 mg0.12604 mg0.14796 mg0.13015 mg0.0388395 mg0.001644 mg
Folate, DFE44 µg62.92 µg40.48 µg47.52 µg41.8 µg12.474 µg0.528 µg
Vitamin B-120 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, RAE0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, IU2 IU2.86 IU1.84 IU2.16 IU1.9 IU0.567 IU0.024 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)25.63 mg36.6509 mg23.5796 mg27.6804 mg24.3485 mg7.266105 mg0.30756 mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin D0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, whole1 cup, sliced1 cup, slivered1 cup, ground1 oz (23 whole kernels)1 almond
Fatty acids, total saturated3.802 g5.43686 g3.49784 g4.10616 g3.6119 g1.077867 g0.045624 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated31.551 g45.11793 g29.02692 g34.07508 g29.97345 g8.9447085 g0.378612 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated12.329 g17.63047 g11.34268 g13.31532 g11.71255 g3.4952715 g0.147948 g
Fatty acids, total trans0.015 g0.02145 g0.0138 g0.0162 g0.01425 g0.0042525 g0.00018 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, whole1 cup, sliced1 cup, slivered1 cup, ground1 oz (23 whole kernels)1 almond
Caffeine0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
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