Almond trees are native to the Middle East and North Africa. Almond nuts are popular around the world for their nutritional benefits and delicate taste. Almonds can be eaten raw, or as an ingredient in many dishes; they are also used to produce almond oil, almond milk, almond flour and almond butter.
Prized for thousands of years, almonds were consumed in ancient Egypt, and the Romans considered them to be fertility charms.
Almonds are high in healthy unsaturated fats, and are an excellent source of protein. Rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and niacin too, almonds also contain healthy fibre.
The antioxidants and vitamin E found in almonds can help to protect cells from damage by free radicals. Vitamin E is also highly beneficial to the skin, which is why almonds are a popular ingredient in skincare products.
Almonds can play a role in improving heart health, because the magnesium they contain can lower blood pressure, while studies have found that eating almonds can help to lower cholesterol.
It is thought that almonds are good for brain health too. They contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, both of which are important for good cognitive function.