Lately, nuts have made a comeback as a recommended snack food. Previously regarded as diet no-no’s due to their high fat content, nuts have recently been found to contain the type of fat that is good for the heart and the health as a whole. According to a study made by Harvard University, a person who eats a handful of nuts every day has a better chance of living longer than those who do not.
Amidst the growing nut craze, the almond is the rising star, as consumption of the nut has risen tremendously in the past few years. Alongside the cans and packs of almond nuts that are displayed in grocery shelves these days, you are likely to come across almonds in their different forms as well: almond milk, almond butter and almond flour. So, before you snack on a handful of almonds, drink a glass of almond milk or bake a gluten-free batch of your favorite brownies with almond flour, here are some impressive almond facts that you might like to ponder on.
- Although most people think of the almond as a nut, it is actually a seed that can be found inside a drupe, the fruit of the almond tree.
- Almonds have a relatively long shelf life and do not spoil easily. When kept inside the refrigerator, they can last for up to two years. This is because almonds contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to slow down the oxidation process.
- Approximately 80% of the world’s supply of almonds comes from California.
- Because the almond tree is not self-pollinating, bees are very crucial to its propagation and production. Without the bees’ assistance, almond trees would not be very productive. During the blooming season, more than a million colonies of honey bees are transported to California’s almond orchards to help in pollination.
- Only 10 of the 30 varieties of almond trees are grown commercially.
- Almonds were already cultivated in very ancient times. Genesis, the first book of the Bible, which was written around 1140 to 1400 B.C., makes mention of the almond along with another nut, the pistachio.
- Almond oil, which is made from both the sweet and bitter almond varieties, is ideal for skin care and is used in numerous cosmetic products. Extraction of the oil, however, is not that easy since a thousand pounds of almonds can only yield about a pint of almond oil.
- Do you ever wonder why many of your favorite chocolate treats contain almonds? It is because 40% of the almonds produced around the world are utilized by chocolate manufacturers.