The benefits and harms of bitter almonds, unlike sweet
There are two types of almonds: bitter and sweet. The difference between the two types is not only in taste. The products have a different composition, and, accordingly, the effect on the body is different for them. On the benefits and harms of bitter almond fruits, contraindications and why they should be used with caution, read on.
Description of Bitter Almonds
This is a shrub that grows in subtropical latitudes. The plant grows to a height of 6 m. It blooms with light pink flowers. As a result of flowering, fruits are formed. In the wild, culture grows on rocky landscapes in Southwest, Central Asia and the Mediterranean; cultivated forms are also grown here. Plants for the production of nuts are also bred in horticulture in the United States and Australia.Bitter, or Prunus dulcis var. amara is one of the varieties of almond tree. The fruits are small oval bones in a thick peel. The peeled kernels have a pronounced nutty odor; they taste bitter.
Did you know? Every year on February 16, US residents celebrate National Almond Day.
Home-made almonds are usually sweet. Bitterness in nuts is found in wild plants. At the same time, breeders resort to the crossing of both varieties. The gene that gives sweetness is dominant, so cultural forms obtained from different species will be sweet in 75%.
How bitter is different from sweet almonds
You can distinguish types of almonds in appearance. Their general characteristics are similar, but there is a difference.
|Sheet||Almost no streaks||There are streaks|
|Shell||Hard, can only be broken with a hammer or tongs||Fine or hard depending on the variety|
|Smell||The fruits in the peel are odorless, after cutting the aroma is pronounced||Weak|
Differences of fruits are noticeable in the following photos:
This is sweet almond.And this is bitter.
Purified kernels can only be distinguished by taste. The bitter look is marked by tangible bitterness. Sweet nuts taste good.
Did you know? The name of the settlement Kanibadam in Tajikistan literally translates as “the city of almonds”.
Composition and useful properties
Product components are as follows:
|Vitamins||A, C, E, group B|
|Macronutrients||Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Sodium, Phosphorus|
|Trace elements||Iron, Copper, Zinc|
|Amino acids||Tryptophan, isoleucine, lysine, valine, leucine, histidine, threonine|
|Other substances||Fiber, fatty acids, amygdalin|
The product has many positive properties.
- With proper systematic use, the fruits have the following benefits:
- calms the nervous system;
- promotes metabolism;
- relaxes the muscular system;
- improves blood supply to the brain.
Due to the beneficial substances in the composition, the product helps to cure some diseases.
The product is used as a therapeutic drug in the following conditions:
- severe anxiety;
Important! Treatment is permissible only under the supervision of a specialist. Improper use can lead to intoxication and, as a result, to death.
Harm and contraindications
The main harmful quality of bitter almonds is the possibility of poisoning. One of the active components of the product is amygdalin. This is a complex compound that makes seeds bitter. The substance is found not only in almonds, but also in the kernels of apricot and plum seeds. Penetrating into the body, amygdalin is divided into glucose, benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid. Hydrocyanic acid is then converted to potassium cyanide.This is a powerful poison that causes poisoning.As a result, it becomes difficult for a person to breathe, abdominal pains appear, cramps begin. At the first symptoms of poisoning, call a doctor. Prolonged intoxication without medical attention leads to death. Since the product can be harmful, there are a number of contraindications in which it is categorically impossible.
- These are:
- age up to 18 years;
- pregnancy and breastfeeding;
- diseases of the cardiovascular system;
The use of bitter almonds in cooking
In the culinary industry, only sweet almonds are widely used. Bitter nuts without roasting are poisonous, and even after heat treatment can harm a person, causing poisoning. However, they are more fragrant than sweet. Roasted bitter almonds give a pronounced nutty flavor, so it is mixed in baked goods with edible nuts. Its part should be no more than 2% of the total number of nuts, otherwise the dish will be rancid.
Important!The lethal dose of the product is 30 grains, but even 10 nuts can be fatal.
Application in cosmetology
Unlike cooking, cosmetology uses bitter almonds without concern. From the pulp are excellent products for the skin and hair. Against pigmentation on the skin, in particular freckles, a mask of ground almonds works well.The recipe is as follows. A handful of nuts are ground on a blender. The resulting mass must be diluted with water to get a creamy consistency. The finished mask is applied to the skin and washed off after 30 minutes. For hair, it is useful to use products from a mixture of almond oil and the nuts themselves.
To prepare a dandruff scrub, mix:
- yolk - 2 pcs.;
- nuts - 100 g;
- almond oil - 2 tbsp. l
Apply the drug to the hair roots, rub in with massaging movements and rinse off after 15 minutes with shampoo. Bitter almonds are a valuable fruit, which can be used to treat various diseases.
However, the product shows usefulness only with proper use under the supervision of a doctor. It’s not worth eating nuts just like that - even the slightest overdose can cause poisoning. Moreover, the product can be freely used for the beauty of skin and hair.