The almond is the edible seed that grows on the tree Prunus dulcis, more commonly called the almond tree. Almonds are native to the Middle East, but the United States is now the world’s largest producer. The almonds we buy at the store have usually had the shell removed, revealing the edible nut inside. They are sold either raw (often referred to as “natural”) or roasted. Despite being high in fat, they are highly nutritious and extremely healthy. Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein and various important nutrients.
Almonds are high in antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage, a major contributor to ageing and disease. They are also among the world’s best sources of vitamin E. Getting plenty of vitamin E from foods is linked to numerous health benefits. Several studies have linked higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Almonds are extremely high in magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of. High magnesium intake may have major benefits for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
One of the biggest benefits of sprouting grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds is that it helps to decrease the presence of anti-nutrients like phytic acid. According to experts from the Weston A. Price Foundation:
“Phytic acid or phytate (in its salt form) locks up calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc and can stunt growth. Phytate can lock up 80 percent of phosphorous, cause calcium excretion; inhibit zinc absorption by 80 percent and magnesium by 40 percent. Anemia, bone loss and a host of health conditions can result from deficiencies of these minerals.”
Sprouting grains, legumes, beans, and seeds increases the availability of calcium, iron, and zinc, plus it reduces polyphenol, lectin, and tannin content by an average of 50 percent!