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The almond – a small all-rounder with great effect

March 26, 2020
  • Breakfast
  • Nutrition
The almond – a small all-rounder with great effect

No matter if brown, blanched, roasted, as splinters, flakes or as a whole. Almonds with their sweetish mild taste are popular among many. But why is the almond such an all-rounder? How is it grown and where does the almond come from?

The answers to these questions and much more interesting information about almonds can be found in this blog post. We will give you a few tips on how to incorporate almonds into your diet and especially into your healthy breakfast.

Where do almonds come from and how are they processed?

The almond tree, also known as Prunus dulcis, is a rose plant and is best known for its delicate pink flowers. The almond blossom takes place annually between March and April. Originally the almond tree comes from southwest Asia. The plant loves Mediterranean climate and therefore nowadays you can find the magnificent trees in the USA, Australia, Mediterranean, Iran, Pakistan and China.

When almond trees are 4-5 years old, they bear almonds for the first time. Almonds need a dry and warm to hot climate in summer and mild winters. They can withstand only very light and short frost conditions. The soil in which almond trees thrive best must be rich in humus, permeable, loamy, sandy and slightly calcareous.

Verival Mandel Plantage
This is what the Verival almond plantation looks like

At the end of summer, the velvety, hairy, egg-shaped fruit of the almond tree develops from the blossom. Finally, the almond kernel develops in it, which is surrounded by a hard, rough shell. Strictly speaking, the almond is therefore not a nut, but a kernel. As soon as the almond is ripe, the fruit shell bursts open, and the harvest can begin.

When the almonds are harvested in autumn, the trees are shaken manually or mechanically so that the fruit fall into nets. They are then dried for one or two weeks and turned several times a day. During further processing, the shell of the almonds is being opened. They are then sorted by vibrating machines and checked for foreign objects.

How healthy are almonds really?

The almond is so popular because it contains so many important nutrients. A handful of almonds alone contains 6 grams of protein, about 14 grams of fat and about 2 grams of carbohydrates. Even though the fat content may seem very high at first glance, almonds contain mainly mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are particularly important and healthy for our body.

What valuable nutrients are contained in almonds?

As already mentioned, almonds are a wonderful source of high-quality unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, almonds are a good source of dietary fibre that supports your digestion. Almonds also contain important vitamins and minerals such as vitamins E and B, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and folic acid.

Almonds nutrients
Almonds contain many important nutrients

Furthermore, almonds have a positive effect on LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol. However, you should still only consume about a handful of almonds every day.

Here you can find an overview with the most important macro- and micronutrients and the recommended reference values for adults according to the Austrian Society for Nutrition (ÖGE) and the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). In comparison you will find the daily dose of almonds and the corresponding proportion of macro and micronutrients.

Reference value for adults acoording to ÖGE/DGEAlmonds (30g)
Potassium4000 mg250 mg
Calcium1000 mg76 mg
Vitamin E12-15 mg7.6 mg
Magnesium300-350 mg51 mg
Zinc7-16 mg0.7 mg
Fibres30 g4 g
EnergyIndividual175 kcal
ProteinIndividual 5.6 g
Mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acidsIndividual 3.9 g
Vitamin B21-1.4 mg0.3 mg
Folic acid300 µg 13.5 µg

How many almonds am I allowed to eat per day?

Even though almonds are generally a very healthy food, you should not eat more than 30 g per day. The official recommendation according to ÖGE for the maximum daily dose of almonds is 1-2 tablespoons of nuts per day. Even this small amount of almonds already provides you with important nutrients. Nuts are also important for our brain and can even increase its performance. Therefore, a small portion of nuts should never be missing from your daily menu.

Do almonds make you fat?

Even though nuts are generally considered to be fattening, nuts do not necessarily make you fat despite their high fat content. That is because almonds saturate you due to their high fibre and protein content. However, due to the high number of calories in almonds, you should still not consume more than about 30 g per day.

Toleration of almonds

As almonds have a very high fat content, they are rather difficult to digest. Therefore, when eating almonds, you should make sure that you always chew well. However, in general fewer people react allergic to almonds than to hazelnuts, for example. If you suffer from a histamine intolerance almonds are even better tolerated than peanuts or hazelnuts. Furthermore, almonds are usually better tolerated when baked or in the form of nut oils.

Beware of bitter almonds

Besides the normal sweet almonds, there are also almonds that taste bitter. The bitter almonds are poisonous when eaten raw because of the prussic acid. However, you would have to consume 50-60 of these almonds as an adult to get serious health problems. With children, the consumption of 5-10 bitter almonds alone can be dangerous. If the bitter almonds are processed, such as baked, they are harmless to health. Normally, however, the unpleasantly bitter taste of these bitter almonds prevents the consumption of a dangerous dose.

How can almonds be integrated into different meals?

To integrate almonds into different meals is not difficult at all. You can easily put them in your cereal or porridge for breakfast. Whether as a base for your porridge, as a topping for your breakfast or simply as a snack, the almond is truly versatile. The almond can be used not only in sweet dishes, but also in savoury ones such as salads, pesto or in dressings. In general, you should take care in your diet to eat a handful of nuts every day, as they have many positive effects on our body.

How to store almonds properly

The correct storage of food is generally very important, as this has a positive effect on its shelf life. Almonds of all kinds are best stored in a dark, cool and dry place. This means that it is best to store them in a sealable tin or jar once you have opened the package. Dry storage is particularly important, as mould can form if the almonds become moist.

Where do the almonds in your Verival breakfast come from?

To guarantee the best possible quality, the almonds for the Verival mueslis and Verival porridges are carefully selected by our quality managers. We purchase the almonds from a family business in Sicily, which cultivates the almonds itself and processes them into various final products. In July 2019, our quality managers also visited the Verival almond farmers personally and were able to see for themselves the good quality of their almonds.

Almonds

After planting, it takes four to five years for almond trees to mature and...

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