Posted on : July 10th, 2019
In superhero comics mutants are a frequently feared and misunderstood subgroup of humans with amazing powers that they use to save the day. Generally thought of as monsters or freaks of nature, an entire genre of comic books and movies stems from their struggle to help the rest of the world accept them as potentially the next stage in human evolution. But did you know that almonds are mutant superheroes, too?
It’s true! Modern day almonds are the result of a natural mutation that happened thousands of years ago in the wild. But instead of transforming the plant into something fearsome, it changed a poisonous nut into one that is not only edible and delicious, but also really great for your health.
Before this mutation occurred, all wild almonds—also known as bitter almonds—contained amygdalin which breaks down into the deadly poison cyanide after being eaten. People ate them anyway in small quantities and they are still used to make medicine, almond extract, oils and liquors. However, it is illegal to sell raw bitter almonds in the United States because as few as 7-10 of them can kill a child. Eating between 12-70 can be lethal to adults.
Luckily for us, this mutation inhibits the production of amygdalin in the almond almost completely, and that is what led to the domestication of the “sweet” almonds we know and love today. In fact, almond trees are believed to be one of the very first domesticated trees. There is archeological evidence that dates back to 3000 B.C. But geneticists think that humans could have started cultivating them long before that, maybe even 12,000 years ago. Whenever it happened, the domesticated sweet variety became popular throughout the Mediterranean, starting probably in Iran, spreading into central Asia and northern Africa and then north into southern Europe. Eventually it found its way to California. Today California produces 80% of the almonds grown in the world.
Some people call almonds a “superfood.” They are thought to be the most nutritionally dense nut because they offer the highest concentration of nutrients per calorie and per ounce. Just a single one ounce serving—about a handful—contains 161 calories, 13 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, 6 grams of protein, and many other nutrients. Research shows that they can help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation related to heart disease. When eaten in moderation in combination with a low calorie diet and exercise, they can even assist with healthy weight loss because they help satisfy hunger pangs and prevent people from overeating.
Look! Up in the air, in that beautiful tree! It’s super-almond! Get your favorite almond products from Maisie Jane’s today.
Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family-owned and operated orchards. We use organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.