Almond fruit consists of a kernel, seedcoat, middle shell, and outer green shell cover. All the nutrients in almond fruit are found in the kernel, what we call the almond nut. Our body will surely benefit from the antioxidants found in almonds. The most powerful of the almond’s antioxidant actions is from the Vitamin E. The health effects of almonds depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability. There have been multiple studies on almonds‘ effect of preventing cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which have been found to lower the risk of heart disease likely due to cholesterol reduction. In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains 62 mg of magnesium and 162 mg of potassium.
The bioaccessibility of nutrients and phytochemicals from almond skin has not been evaluated before 2010. (Food Chemistry, Volume 122, Issue 4, 15 October 2010, Pages 1083-1088) This research study quantified the release of lipid, protein and polyphenols during simulated human digestion from natural and blanched skins, the latter being a by-product of the almond industry. There was no significant differences between the two. The researchers concluded ‘No changes in dietary fibre composition and distribution of autofluorescent phenolics were observed in the cell walls of almond skin after simulated digestion.’ And almond skin may function as a useful source of fermentable fibre with beneficial implications for gut health.
Another study evaluated the protective effects of almond oil against acute liver deficiency. The study results showed that animals which received almond oil significantly decreased ‘bad cholesterol’ called low density lipoprotein (LDL) content, and increased ‘good cholesterol’ called serum high density lipoprotein (HDL) content. Also, the animals that were treated with almond oil before the experiments showed better test results. ‘These results combined with liver histopathology demonstrated that almond oil has potent hepatoprotective effects, and could be developed as a functional food for the therapy and prevention of liver damage.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 125, Issue 2, 15 March 2011, Pages 673-678)
Flourless Pear Tart
2 ripe corella pears
2 cups almond meal
1/8 cup Stevia “Sugar”
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 egg whites
1/8 cup Stevia “Sugar”
1/2 cup almond meal
* 4 ramekins approximately 10cm in diameter
1. First to make the base, mix almond meal, Stevia, flaxseed oil, egg yolks and coconut milk to make a dough
2. Divide into 4 parts and press into the bottom of each ramekin covered with baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 180C
3. Halve each pear and remove the seeds, then slice but retain the pear shape.
4. Place each sliced pear half into a ramekin and lightly press at an angle so slices are slightly shown
5. Beat egg whites with Stevia until soft peaks form, then gently mix in the almond meal to make an airy mixture.
6. Pour the egg white mixture around the pear slices
7. Bake at 175c for 20-25 minutes.
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