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Almonds Nutrition Facts

Almonds, which are often referred to as "the gourmet nut", are among the most nutrient dense tree nuts. In botany, almonds are typically classified as a fruit and form part of the stone fruit family. Other fruits in this family include peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots as well as cherries.

It is a known fact that almond extracts are often made from apricot stones, as the two have very similar flavors.

There are two forms of the almond plant. One produces sweet almonds and the second produces bitter almonds. The bitter almond is typically shorter and wider than the sweet almond. Extracts from the bitter almonds were once used in medicine, however, even small doses of this extract today, could prove to be deadly.

Almonds are a good source of protein and are high in antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron as well as vitamin E. They also provide a good source of monounsaturated fat — the good fat that is needed for heart health.

Studies presented at the 2006 Obesity Societies Annual Scientific Meeting (NAASO) showed evidence that almonds help to satisfy hunger. In fact, eating a handful of almonds a day could play a valuable role in weight management.

Another study showed early indications that almonds may also play a role in the prevention of colon cancer.

Almonds rank as the largest U.S. horticultural export and more than 80 countries import their almonds from California. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the top five almond producers in a calendar year in 2003 were the United States, followed by Spain, Syria, Iran and Italy.

Author: Dimi Ingle.
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