Almond oil, which is made from the seeds of almond trees, is an amazing oil with a huge range of health benefits that can quickly improve your life. If you have not tried almond oil before now is the perfect time to try something that is growing quickly in popularity and usefulness.
This article will teach you all about almond trees, the nuts, and the oil, including the many health benefits that you will discover from using the oil.
Almond trees are native to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and North Africa. Almonds seeds are widely used by people for a variety of reasons, and the plants has become incredibly important to people from around the world.
Almond trees are deciduous and grow to between 13 and 33 feet in height with a trunk that is up to 12 inches in diameter. At first the tiny branches are green, but they become purple in colour when exposed to sunlight and by the second year they have turned grey. After three years they begin producing their first almonds. The trees grow best in Mediterranean climates that have warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
The flowers are white or pale pink, 3 to 5 centimetres in diameter, and have five petals. Like many other trees the flowers appear first, followed by the leaves. In the fall the drupe reaches maturity – typically 7 to 8 months after the flowers first appeared.
Although people commonly refer to almond drupes as nuts, the actual botanical term for the drupe is a drupe. The outer covering of the drupe is a hard, woody shell that can be hard to break open, helping to protect the seed inside. The seed it what people commonly eat and refer to as an ‘almond nut.’ Generally there is only one seed in each drupe
Traditional Importance of Almonds and Almond Trees
Many plants have never been domesticated because they have little benefit to people. However, almond trees have proven to be so beneficial that they have been domesticated, cultivated, and spread by people as far back as ancient times. Today it has been more recently been introduced to California in the United States. However, the way almonds were first discovered and eaten is a bit strange. It is amazing that we have such a useful plant today considering its origins.
Interestingly wild almonds are toxic! The drupes of wild plants contain a substance called glycoside amygdalin and when the seed is crushed or chewed this glycoside amygdalin is turned into hydrogen cyanide! This highly toxic poison will kill a person almost instantly if it consumed. High levels in the air can even kill people. How in the world did people domestic this plant when its wild relative was deadly?
While scientists don’t have a definitive answer, one of the major theories is evolution and mutations. There is a simple mutation among almonds that causes the absence of glycoside amygdalin and it is thought that this mutation was domesticated by people. The jury is still out on who was brave enough to try these domesticated almonds for the first time!
The first domesticated plants appeared in the early Bronze Age (3000 to 2000 BC) and have been found in archaeological sites in the Middle East. Almond drupe was even found in King Tut’s tomb! If you eat almonds today or use almond oil you will be utilizing the same products that Egyptian pharaohs use! Almonds became so important in ancient cultures that they were often used as a valuable trading resource. The plants were shared throughout the ancient world had have been found as far north as Iceland.
Almond Trees Today
Nearly 3 million tonnes of Almonds are produced every year. This is incredible, especially when you remember that there is often only one almond seed inside every drupe. The United States produces more almonds than anywhere else in the world and the majority come from California.
There are sweet almonds and bitter almonds. The bitter flavour is caused by a recessive gene and some almond varieties always have a bitter flavour. Bitter almonds are broader and shorter than sweet almonds and have only 50 percent of the oil that sweet almonds contain. Bitter almonds still contain cyanide and this must be extracted before they are eaten. As a result, they are not commonly used and all the almonds sold as food in the United States are sweet almonds.
Culinary uses for Almonds
Almonds can be eaten on their own, either raw or toasted and can be sold as whole, sliced, or as almond flour. They can also be included in many different recipes. They are often used in breakfast cereals, in desserts, and in ice creams. While the drupe of an almond tree can be eaten is in not nearly as popular. It is somewhat sour and in the Middle East it is often dipped into salt to balance the flavor. Almond nuts are far more popular and more widely used.
As concerns have risen of the use of dairy milk and gluten flour, almonds have risen to the occasion and become a substitute that has quickly caught on. Almond milk and almond flour are now readily available at most grocery stores. They have made a huge difference for people who suffer from conditions such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease. One of the reasons almonds have risen so quickly a s replacement produce is the many nutritional benefits that come from consuming almonds. Without them far to many people would be unable to enjoy cookies or ice cream, imagine!
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are full of nutrients and have a well-deserved spot among the healthy and high protein foods. The health benefits from almond are almost unbelievable. They are a perfect snack and are easily portable if you need to eat on the go.
Curious about how eating almonds can improve your health? Check out these facts:
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Eating almonds can reduce your risk of having a heart attack. According to the Loma Linda School of Public Health eating almond nuts five times a week contributed to a 50 percent reduction in heart attack risks. Are you concerned about your own heart health? Give almonds a try! Eating almonds can help strengthen and protect the walls of your arteries from becoming damaged. Based on research from Tufts University, almonds contain flavonoids, which work alongside vitamin E to strength arteries, which can help protect you from heart disease and further lower your risk of a heart attack.
Eating almonds lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol, according to a study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc. This is because almonds are low in saturated fats.
Bones and Teeth
Eating almonds strengthens your bones and your teeth. This is because almonds are high in phosphorus. Give almonds a try if you are worried about weak bones and teeth, especially as you age.
Source of Healthy Fats
Eating almonds gives you a good source of fat. Hold on! Isn’t fat bad for you? Aren’t almonds high in fat? Almonds have high levels of a type of fat called mono saturated fat, which is much safer and better to consume than saturated or trans fats. Almond consumption can actually help to increase your ‘good’ cholesterol levels. According to data from a Nurses’ Health Study people who eat nuts are often thinner than people who do not and are less likely to gain weight.
Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Eating almonds helps control the rise in blood sugar and insulin that often occurs after you eat. This can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from diabetes who want a natural and healthy way to control their sugar levels.Eating almonds could help you live longer! According to a study by Ayurveda almonds contribute to your nervous system and help increase your intellectual level and improve your longevity. Looking to be the oldest man or woman in the world? Almonds might be the perfect thing for your diet!
Facts about Almond Oil and other Uses
With the almond craze in full swing many people have added almonds to their diets through eating the nuts or consuming almond milk or almond flour. Not as people have begun making use of almond oil and reaping the many amazing benefits. It has a slightly nutty scent, but if you would prefer a different fragrance for your skin it can be mixed with lavender and other scents as well.
Almond oil has actually been used for thousands of years, just like almonds themselves. Throughout Southeast Asia people have long been benefiting from using almond oil. Want to find out the health benefits almond oil could bring to your own life? Read below to find out more.
Almond oil is a mild hypoallergenic, which means it can be used on any and all skin types, no more looking around for something that will fit the type of skin you have on your body. It also absorbs into skin quickly, especially after you shower. This means that you will not feel like an oily and sticky mess after rubbing it on!
Great Source of Vitamin E
Almond oil is high in vitamin E, which is a wonderful and natural substance that will improve your skin quickly. It will help with scarring and even protect your skin from UV radiation damage and other stresses, keeping it soft and supple instead.
Almond oil can leave you with a deep clean. Because it has such a light texture it can penetrate deep into the skin, removing dirt and debris that have accumulated in skin pores and hair follicles. This will help you to prevent breakouts, black heads and other blemishes that you do not want on your skin.
Great Source of Vitamin A
Almond oil contains high levels of Vitamin A. This vitamin helps to prevent the flare-up of acne and other skin disorders.
Almond oil makes a wonderful and natural make-up remover. Simply apply it with a cotton ball and you will have a clean face in minutes.
Almond oil can be used as a facial scrub when mixed with sugar. Simply massage the mixture into your skin to remove grime and dead skin cells, then wash your skin with water.
Almond oil can get rid of pesky dark circles under your eyes. Apply the oil every night after going to bed. Within two weeks you will see visible differences underneath your eyes.
Almond oil can treat sunburns or lighten suntanned skin, simply rub into onto your skin and then wash it off after an hour.
Eczema and Psoriasis
Almond oil can help improve eczema and psoriasis. These skin conditions often result in skin looking inflamed and feeling itchy and many people further irritate the sites by scratching them. Almond oil will help to keep the skin in these areas smooth and hydrated. This means that you will itch and scratch less, develop fewer infections, and be one your way to recovery much sooner.
Almond oil can treat skin rashes on young children and adults. Is your skin chafed and sore? Is it dry because your clothing is itchy and scratchy? Applying almond oil to the impacted areas will help re-hydrate them and leave you feeling much more comfortable. It is also a much more natural solution than what you would receive in most doctor’s offices.
Wrinkles and Aging
Almond oil can reduce wrinkles and other less pleasant signs of aging. As you age skin thins and becomes uneven because you begin to lose collagen. Collagen forms a natural layer under the skin that acts as padding to keep skin taunt and supple. If you smoke, suntan, or are often dehydrated these signs of aging can start more quickly. Use almond oil to help rebuild your body’s natural collagen.
Muscle Aches and Fatigue
Almond oil can help with muscle aches and muscle fatigue. Massage almond oil into tired muscles to rejuvenate them. For best results, heat almond oil before using it and leave it on for at least half an hour. It not only will leave your muscles feeling better, but will also draw out toxins.
Almond oil can help with hair loss. A lot of thinning hair is caused by a loss of zinc, a substance that is found in high numbers in almond oil, it’s a perfect natural solution to stopping that thinning patch you noticed. To control hair loss almond oil must be used on a regular basis. For best results, you should warm one tablespoon of oil and gently massage it onto your scalp, leaving it on overnight. Eating almonds or mixing almond oil into a salad or smoothie will have similar results.
Almond oil will make your existing hair long and shiny. If your hair is dry and brittle almond oil can help rejuvenate it and retain moisture at the root. It is as easy as rubbing the oil into your hands and rubbing them through your hair. You will have a beautiful sheen and your hair will be tangle free!
Almond oil will help improve nail health. Similar to hair loss, if you are lacking zinc in your diet your nails are likely to be chipped and contain white spots. Adding almond oil to your diet will strengthen your nails. Simply add a drop of warm water to the nail and rub it into the cuticle. Thicker, nicer nails are in your future!
Improve Heart Health
Almond oil can improve your heart health. Almonds are high in mono unsaturated fats, which can increase your ‘good’ cholesterol and improve the overall function of your heart. Almond oil in dressings is a great way to take advantage of this benefit.
Memory and Cognition
Almond oil will increase your memory and cognition. Southeast Asian communities have been using almond oil to increase brain power with decades! Almonds may indeed improve overall neurological function.
Concerns about Almond Oil
Some people have severe nut allergies that can result in severe illness or death. It is important to be mindful of these allergies when using almonds in food or as skin care products. Always check to make sure no one in a group has allergies and can safety eat and/or use almond products.
If you plan to make almonds a regular part of your diet to improve a chronic illness consult your doctor to ensure that almonds will not interfere with other medications or treatment plans.
Almonds are an incredible and versatile food with a huge range of potential health benefits. Eating almonds on a regular basis and using almond oil in foods can alter your life and have a huge impact on your health. People have been using almonds for thousands of years. They were so beneficial in ancient cultures that they spread across entire continents. Today almonds are as popular as ever and continue to change lives. If you have thought about trying almond oil in the past now is the perfect time to try it. Before long you will be looking healthier and younger, with strong, sleeker hair and perfect looking nails.