Almond is not a nut as we think; botanically the almond is considered a stone fruit and related to plum, cherry or peach. USA and Spain produce the most almonds. Unfortunately it is not produced in India.

Bitter almond contains 6% to 8% hydrogen cyanide and so it is not edible. This is cultivated to produce highly valuable oils and is used in flavouring in liquors and also in our food preparation. The process of heating destroys the poison and so the oil is edible.

The nutrients in 100 g edible almonds include:

• Water – 5.7 g
• Protein – 18.7 g
• Fat – 54.1 g
• Carbohydrates – 5.4 g
• Organic acids – Salicylic acid 3.0 mg
• Fibre – 13.5 g
• Minerals - 2.6 g – sodium 2 mg, potassium 835 mg, magnesium 170 mg, calcium 250 mg, iron 4100 micro g, copper 850 micro g, zinc 2200 micro g, selenium 4 micro g, iodide 2 micro g.
• Vitamins - vitamins A,B1, B2, B6, nicotine amide, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin C 0.8 to 6.5 mg, vitamin E.
• Purine – 35 mg

In Germany the famous marzipan is also from almonds which is my favourite and weakness.

In Greece, it is used to make the wedding sweets with matching white colours.

In India the famous Baadaam Kir is known to everybody, which is very delicious.
Almond milk is good for the lactose intolerant people and is called raw milk because it is only simply extracted.

The sweet almond oil is used in massage therapy to lubricate the skin and is also a good skin softener. It is used in the cosmetics to give moisture to the skin.