On this occasion we would like to talk to you about almonds, a superfood loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients to energize the body and strengthen bones. They also regenerate and repair damaged skin tissue.
We’ll tell you all about the characteristics of this powerful multivitamin dried fruit, including the different varieties on the market, and the different brands and prices, among other factors, so you can choose the perfect almonds for you.
We will also inform you about the aspects that you should take into account before buying almonds, whether natural or processed, so that you can evaluate all the particularities of this product before making a purchase decision. Don’t miss it!
The most important things to know
- Almonds are an energetic nut that is characterized by its high content of nutrients, especially vitamin E, fiber, minerals, proteins and healthy fats. It provides great benefits for the skin, bones and digestive system, among other advantages.
- Almonds can be distinguished by the type of shell (soft and hard shell) and by the flavor (sweet and bitter). These characteristics also determine the shape, texture, varieties and uses of this nut.
- When buying almonds, certain factors must be taken into account to make the best purchase choice. That’s why it’s important to know the different products that are made with this nut, their uses and contraindications, for example.
Almonds: our recommendation of the best products
Shopping Guide: What You Need to Know About Almonds
The main purpose of this shopping guide is for you to know the product you are thinking of buying in more detail. That’s why we’re going to tell you about the most important characteristics of almonds, including their main advantages and their not-so-benefit aspects.
What are almonds and what are their benefits?
Almonds are sweet almond nuts, and are eaten as a snack between meals, or as a main ingredient in sweet and savory dishes. They are also used in the preparation of creams, oils and lotions for cosmetic use.
Almonds contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, E and A, as well as protein, minerals, fiber and healthy fats. Experts say that with just 20 almonds a day we cover our daily needs for vitamin E, as it is the walnut with the highest percentage of this vitamin.
Among the many benefits of this overfeeding, we could mention that it provides energy, is excellent for the skin and bones, prevents cardiovascular disease, improves and facilitates digestion and activates brain function, among many other advantages.
Soft or Hard Almonds – What Should You Pay Attention to?
One of the aspects that differentiate the different types of almonds is the shell, which can be soft or hard. Below we will describe its features so that you can compare them and choose the best one for you, depending on your tastes and purchase possibilities.
Soft . Soft-shelled almonds, cultivated mainly in California, are the most prized and consumed, since their texture is soft and it is easy to peel off the skin. They are also always sweet, which makes them much more expensive than hard shell almonds.
Hard. Hard shell almonds, grown mainly in Spain and Portugal, can be sweet or bitter. They are not eaten as much as soft-shelled ones because their texture can be too dry for some people.
|flavor||sweet||sweet or bitter|
|shape||rounded||round or elongated|
|most popular types||Mollar, Marcona, etc.||Marcona, Planet, Largueta, etc.|
How to choose between sweet and bitter almonds?
Another factor that differentiates almonds is their flavor, which can be sweet or bitter. Although the former are the most common and marketed, let’s discuss the characteristics of both types so that you can choose the best almond for you.
Candy. Sweet almonds are the most valued and marketed for their tasty flavor and versatility, as they can be consumed as snacks between meals, or to prepare different types of food. They contain most nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Bitter. Bitter almonds, also known as kernels, have amygdalin, which is a toxic component; for this reason they are generally not an edible variety of almonds. However, they are used in small doses to make foods, drinks and oils.
|use||Culinary||Cosmetic and culinary (in very low doses)|
In this last section we’ll tell you what are the most important factors you have to consider when choosing almonds, whether natural or through commercial products. This information will help you choose the right almonds for you..
- raw or baked
raw or baked
As mentioned above, almonds can be eaten on their own, as a snack or appetizer, or with other foods. They can also be eaten raw or baked, which will influence the preservation of their natural properties:
Raw . Raw almonds, as they have not been previously treated, keep all their essential amino acids intact. They also have a lower content of unsaturated fats, so they are the best option to enjoy all their properties without adding as many calories.
Roasted . Although they retain many of their numerous properties, roasted almonds have more unsaturated fats and do not retain essential amino acids as they were previously cooked in oil. They also have a higher caloric content.
You can find this nutritious nut in both varieties on the market (although it is more common to find it raw). We recommend that you opt for raw almonds instead of roasted almonds, due to the above mentioned particularities.
Almonds are a superfood that is characterized, in addition to its many properties, for its versatility. For this reason, the market offers a wide variety of almond products for the food and cosmetics industry.
Almond milk . Despite its name, it does not contain milk but almonds soaked and processed with water. It provides vitamins, promotes metabolism, improves digestion and intestinal activity, which is why it is widely consumed, mainly by vegans, as a substitute for cow’s milk.
Almond flour . As the name suggests, this flour is made by grinding almonds, usually shelled. Due to its high percentage of fiber and healthy fats, it is a good option to replace white flour, which has more carbohydrates and less nutrients.
Almond cream . Almond cream, also called almond butter, is a food that preserves all the properties of this fruit, making it very nutritious. Despite its name, it does not contain any additional creams, but obtains this texture through its preparation.
Almond oil . Almond oil is made up of monounsaturated fats and acids such as Omega 3 and 6. It is one of the most versatile oils available, used mainly in the cosmetic industry to moisturize the skin and strengthen hair, and also to apply in massages.
In order to take advantage of all the natural properties of almonds, it is important that you take into account the two aspects that we will detail below when choosing them. Small details can allow you to enjoy its powerful benefits for longer.
Shell . Shelled almonds retain all their natural nutrients better. Therefore, although it is easier and more practical to eat them without the skin, it is advisable to buy almonds with the skin on. Also, shelled almonds are sometimes washed with chemicals to make them last longer.
Aroma . Since almonds are high in lipids, they sometimes turn rancid, especially when they are in hot or humid places. When we buy this food we should check their aroma, which gives us the signal that they are kept fresh.
On the other hand, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, almonds tend to decompose or lose their properties when they are in hot, humid or very bright places, so it is recommended to keep them in airtight containers, stored in cool, dark places.
Although there are many more advantages than disadvantages of this food, it is important to take into account certain side effects that could generate the consumption of almonds, as in some cases it can be very dangerous.
Allergy . Almonds contain highly allergenic substances, therefore, they are strictly prohibited for allergic people in general and for nuts in particular. The side effects of consuming almonds depend on the degree of allergy of the person consuming them.
Children . It is not recommended at all for children under the age of three to consume this nut, as it can lead to premature allergy. Also, because almonds are hard and small, they can choke and choke when trying to chew and swallow them.
Nut intolerance . In this case, the consequences would be much milder than those of a nut allergy. Intolerance can lead to headaches, migraines, diarrhea, etc., while an allergy can cause swelling, hives or breathing problems.
Excesses. We know that excess is bad in itself and high doses of almonds can be counterproductive. Therefore, it is advisable to eat a handful of between 20 and 25 almonds a day to enjoy its properties and not suffer any side effects.