Almond, also known by the names almond and klepush, is a shrub or small tree belonging to the subgenus Almonds, genus Plum and family Rosaceae.

Almonds are often classified as nuts, but nevertheless the fruits of the almond tree of the same name are drupe. In terms of size and shape, almonds are very similar to peach pits.

The almond tree or shrub grows on stony or sandy slopes at an altitude of 800 to 1600 meters, preferring soils rich in calcium.

A characteristic feature is that almonds grow in groups of 3-4 trees or bushes at a distance of 5-7 meters from each other.

The almond tree is very light-loving, drought-resistant due to its well-developed root system. Its flowering is in March-April, sometimes even in February, its fruits ripen in June and July.

Sweet almonds differ from bitter almonds in the absence of amygdalin, which provides the typical almond flavor.

At the moment /beginning of 2015/ the largest almond plantations are located in the Mediterranean region, in China and on the American continent.

The almond tree is also grown in the warm regions of Slovakia, mainly in the vineyards, but also in South Moravia and in the Czech Republic.


Almonds contain from 35 to 67% non-drying oil. Almonds are one of the best plant-based sources of protein. Almonds contain almost as much protein as lean meat – up to 30%.

From these nuts one can get high-quality and easily absorbable proteins. The quality of proteins in a food is determined by the amount of necessary or essential amino acids and their digestibility.

Almonds contain various minerals absolutely necessary for bone health. Calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus are essential for maintaining bone strength.

Almonds contain a large amount of fats, proteins and sugars. They also contain enzymes, vitamins of group B, E.

Bitter almonds have been found to contain the glycoside amygdalin, which gives the nuts a bitter taste and an “almond” smell.

The beneficial substances in almonds affect blood lipids, especially blood levels of the powerful antioxidant tocopherol.

Almonds are an alternative source of proteins of animal origin, and also contain useful vitamins and minerals. It is used in folk medicine for digestive disorders and impaired kidney function.

Sweet almond cleanses the internal organs, strengthens the brain and immune system, is useful for lactation during breastfeeding. Together with sugar, almonds are useful for asthma, pleurisy and hemoptysis.

Bitter almond

Bitter almond contains a glycoside that easily breaks down into sugars, benzaldehyde and highly toxic hydrogen cyanide. For this reason, it is not recommended to consume bitter almonds without first processing them, and they should not be given to children at all. The lethal dose for children is 10 bitter almonds, and for adults 50.

Medicinal effect

Italian scientists from the University of Perugia have found that regular consumption of almonds increases the body’s resistance to viral infections, in particular against flu and colds.

Researchers also found that the shell of the almond contains a substance that reduces the length of the recovery period in women who are infected with different seasonal flu viruses.

In folk medicine, almonds are used for anemia, insomnia and cough. The most valuable is almond oil, which makes up 62% of sweet and 45% of bitter almonds.

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