The almond is a species of tree native to Iran and surrounding countries but widely cultivated elsewhere. The almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree.
Contrary to popular belief, almonds aren’t a nut but rather a seed. They can be eaten raw, toasted, or added to sweet or savory dishes.
Almonds contain vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, and so they may offer a number of health benefits. Just a handful of almonds — approximately 1 ounce — contains one-eighth of a person’s daily protein needs.
They can also be purchased sliced, flaked, slivered, as flour, butter, almond milk, or oil!
Are Almonds Hard To Digest?
Adding almonds to your diet can up the nutritional quality of your snacks, but they’re harder to digest than roasted varieties. A study published in Food Biophysics in 2009 found that the rigid texture of almonds keeps them intact as they go through the digestive tract – leading to possible pain and discomfort.
Almonds also contain tannins and phytates that act as protective agents for the nut. Humans cannot digest tannins and phytates. The phytates also hold the nutritional minerals in the almond which prevents you from absorbing them.
Eating too many raw almonds can also cause discomfort because of the surplus of fiber. If you don’t eat many high-fiber foods, a handful of almonds is enough to create some issues.
Do Almonds Spoil?
Yes, almonds can become rancid.
Almonds should always be stored in an airtight container and it’s a smart idea to keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s not recommended to store almonds at room temperature for an extended period of time.
According to the California Almond Board, the shelf-life of almonds depends on how they were processed:
- Almond paste should be refrigerated and will stay fresh for 1 to 1.5 years.
- Roasted almonds will last for up to a year in an airtight container stored in the fridge or freezer.
- Raw, natural almonds can be stored for up to 2 years, and you can maximize freshness by storing them in the fridge or freezer.
Why Do Almonds Go Rancid?
The reason why almonds go bad is because of their fat content.
Almonds are stuffed full of omega-3 and monounsaturated fats which start to go bad after being exposed to the oxygen in the air (especially at room temp).
Spoiled almonds aren’t poisonous, but the fats are no longer beneficial and the rancid oil makes them taste stale or bad. It’s possible that the overconsumption of rancid fats contributes to chronic health issues.