Peeled almonds are cooling, sattvic
building. Ayurveda recommends 10 soaked and peeled almonds a day to build ojas. The ojas makes almonds an aphrodisiac aiding in the production of semen and reproductive fluids.
After ejaculation men should drink Almond Milk with Dates and Saffron
to rebuild fluids. For celibate men the additional ojas can be quite uncomfortable! If not released the ojas builds up and creates painful pressure in the prostate and testicles.
Almonds contain very little starch and are suitable as a flour substitute for diabetics. Almonds are demulcent.
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Almond skins are brown because they contain tannins, an acidic and astringent substance that provokes Vata and Pitta. The cyanide in almond skins is toxic to the liver and starves the cells of oxygen (prana).
Skinned, the creamy, gentle, oily sweetness of almonds is wonderful for Vata in small amounts. But even skinned nuts can provoke Vata because their density makes them difficult to digest. Almonds are much easier to digest when soaked for thirty six hours first.
Oily nuts, when eaten in excess, stress the liver and may increase Pitta. Nuts, brown rice and other foods are also high in arginine, an amino acid that encourages proliferation of the virus that causes cold sores in infected indviduals.
My question is about almonds. I know I'm supposed to soak them overnight and peel them, but that's hard to do when I'm traveling, and I'm wondering if almonds with skins which have been soaked and dehydrated (like you can buy from some health food stores) are ok for Pittas. My other almond question is, is almond butter ok for Pittas?
- Jess, Austin, TX, 04-22-10
Sometimes I buy the almonds blanched. At my local supermarket, blanched almonds are actually cheaper than almonds with the skins. Pre soaking the skins and then rehydrating them greatly reduces the number of tannins, making them easier for Pitta Vata to digest. Almond butter usually contains the skins and can be aggravating for Pitta dosha.
Very interesting to find out recently that the majority of Almond farms are pasteurizing them through the mandate of FDA. The farmers markets and health food stores carry non-pasteurized almonds. The first 2 days of soaking, the water turns deep copper and soon clear. Very aromatic!
- ShuLei Tong, Santa cruz, CA, 05-30-10
I find that both toasted almonds and soaked almonds are received well by my body. Does the toasting alter the tannins and cyanide in some way?
- Tracie, Williams, OR, 12-31-10
Yes - toasting the almonds does destroy the tannins.
I love almonds and would love to try some recipes but I am focusing on Kapha balancing. The guide says almonds increase Kapha. However, at the same time the skins provoke Vata and Pitta. For a Kapha imbalanced person, how should almonds be eaten if at all? Are almond milks a good alternative if taken warm?
- Michele, York, PA, 12-14-11
Almonds are generally ok unless there is a strong Kapha imbalance. They should be chewed carefully and ideally taken with spices like cinnamon, cayeene, and cumin. Yes, warm almond milke with turmeric, ginger and cardamom is generally safe for Kapha. We have a number of almond drinks on the website that are Kapha pacifying. Enjoy!
After peeling the almond, how are they best stored?
- Karin, Alamogordo, NM, 07-27-12