Full to the brim with healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – it’s no surprise that almonds are one of the most commonly eaten tree nuts in the world!
But, what are the best quality almonds of all? If you’re currently asking yourself this question, we are here to help.
In this post, we are going to be taking a deeper look into all the different types of almonds. From almonds that grow in California all the way to almonds that hail from Italy – you’ll find them all on this list.
So, without further ado, just keep on reading to learn more about them all.
What Are Almonds?
Before we get any further into this guide, we first think that it would be helpful to provide you with a quick overview of what almonds are. This will help you to understand how they differ from other types of nuts, especially as far as flavor and texture are concerned.
To cut a long story short, almonds are a type of nut that grows on the almond tree. Due to this, almonds are classified as “tree nuts”.
In the modern day, different types of almond varieties can be found growing all over the world (which we are going to be getting into further down in this post) but they originally came from the Middle East.
The most common areas of the world that almonds can be found growing in are Southern Europe, the USA, and North Africa, and due to the fact that there are so many different varieties, means that almonds can appear a little different depending on where the almonds are growing from.
For example, almonds that grow in the USA (primarily, in California) tend to grow in an oval shape with slightly tapered edges, as well as a subtle brown color.
As well as this, these types of almond varieties that grow in the USA also tend to grow inside a wooden shell with durable green hulls that can be found growing along the branches of an almond tree.
This isn’t necessarily the case for other types of almonds that grow from different areas of the world.
For example, almonds that are found growing in the United Kingdom tend to feature the same shell design as the almonds that can be found growing in the USA, they typically tend to be reddish-brown in appearance than the deep brown of those growing in the USA.
As for the almonds that can be found growing in Southern Europe (such as in Italy) it is common to find blanched almonds, which as you might have guessed from the name, are smooth in appearance and a cream color instead of brown!
As you can see, there are plenty of different varieties of almonds that can be found growing around the world.
But, before we get into all the best almond varieties that you should know about, we first think that it would be a good idea to provide you with a better idea of the nutritional value of almonds. Let’s take a look at this in our next section.
The Nutritional Value Of Almonds
The almond is known to be very healthful and a great source of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
To help give you a better idea of the nutritional value of almonds, let’s take a look at a basic rundown of the nutritional value of a standard almond below:
Almonds are known to be full to the brim with plenty of fiber, which is essential to the body.
Fiber, among other things, is vital to helping the body maintain good digestive health, so making sure that you are getting enough fiber will help to encourage healthy bowel movements.
Not only that but healthy levels of fiber in the body is also linked to lower cholesterol.
Along with being a great source of fiber, almonds are also a fantastic source of magnesium! As we’re sure you might already know, magnesium is vital for cell health, and can be found all over the body including the muscles, bone, soft issues and even fluid.
The body can’t make magnesium by itself, so it’s important to get it through food sources like almonds.
Another important vitamin that can be found in almonds is vitamin E! Vitamin E is vital to maintaining healthy eyes and skin, and is also known to be able to help strengthen the immune system.
As well as this, vitamin E is great for helping the body to fight inflammation, reduce the damage to free radicals and help reduce the chances of developing certain diseases.
Another vital mineral that can be found inside almonds is zinc! If you aren’t overly familiar with the benefits of zinc, it is a vital mineral that can help the body heal wounds faster, encourage the body to make better use of the other nutrients that we eat as well as encourage healthy DNA synthesis.
Along with this, zinc can also help to promote healthy brain functioning as well as encourage healthy fertility.
Along with all of the other essential nutrients that can be found in almonds these nuts are also full to the brim with high levels of calcium! In fact, just a small 30mg portion of almonds contains 75 mg of calcium, and it is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Ideally, the majority of adults should get around 700mg of calcium a day, which makes almonds a great snack to enjoy as part of a balanced diet.
When you think of food that contains high amounts of protein, almonds might not necessarily be a food that comes to your mind.
However, despite the fact that almonds are so small and not a food that you might think contains protein, the fact is that almonds contain quite a high amount of protein. In fact, for a 100g portion of standard almonds, you’ll get 21g.
Heart Healthy Fats
Almonds, regardless of the variety, also contain high levels of healthy fats that are good for the body, in particular the heart.
Many people can be put off by the high levels of fat that almonds contain, but it’s important to keep in mind that none of the fat inside almonds is saturated, which means that the fat found in almonds is healthy for the body, and almost identical to that found in olive oil.
Keep in mind that the nutritional value of almonds can vary depending on a variety of factors, including what type of variety the almond is. That being said, you should keep this in mind when selecting what type of almond variety to enjoy.
Before we uncover the best varieties of almonds in the world, we are first going to provide you with a breakdown of the main health benefits of almonds. Scroll on.
Main Health Benefits Of Almonds
Now that we’ve rounded up some of the main nutrients that can be found inside almonds, we are now going to be breaking down some of the biggest health benefits that you can expect to find in them, regardless of variety.
Let’s check out the main health benefits that you can expect to get from making almonds a regular part of your balanced, everyday diet:
They Contain Plenty Of Antioxidants
One of the biggest health benefits that you can expect to get from making almonds a part of your regular diet is a generous dose of antioxidant-power!
Almonds, unlike some other types of popular nuts, are packed to the brim with antioxidants, which is something that has the ability to fight the effects of oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals in the body.
When oxidative stress occurs in the body, it leads to a multitude of unwanted things such as inflammation in the body, a variety of different diseases and even accelerated, premature aging.
Luckily, there are many different ways that you can fight against the harmful effects of free radicals (both in the body and on the skin) and one of the simplest ways that you can do it is by consuming a handful of almonds each day.
Almonds Can Regulate Blood Sugar
Besides having the awesome ability to help reduce nasty free radicals, almonds also have the potential to help regulate blood sugar in the body, as well.
Given the fact that they are such a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein, almonds have the ability to boost the body with plenty of nutrients while also helping to regulate blood sugar so that it is maintained at the healthy rate.
Not only that, but given the fact that almonds are able to control blood sugar, it means that they are a great snack choice for those who have diabetes, or simply want to avoid spiking their blood sugar.
Almonds Can Lower Cholesterol
Along with being able to regulate blood sugar, almonds also have the incredible ability to help encourage lower levels of cholesterol in the body.
It is well known that higher levels of cholesterol in the body can lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease and other health issues.
But, this is where superfoods like almonds come into the picture. Almonds are known for being great sources of fiber (regardless of which variety of almonds that you are enjoying) and fiber is known for being able to encourage lower levels of cholesterol in the body.
Not only that, but it is also important to note that almonds contain plenty of heart-healthy fats that can also help to decrease your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases and health issues.
Unlike foods that contain saturated fats, almonds contain unsaturated fats, which are very good for you when eaten in moderation.
They’re Great For Reducing Cravings
Last, but certainly not least, the final main benefit that you can expect to get from regularly eating almonds is a reduction in any cravings that you might get throughout the day.
Besides being a delicious snack to enjoy in their own right, almonds are known for being extremely high in both protein and fiber, which means that you will be able to feel fuller for longer by reaching for a handful of almonds over a different type of snack.
As for how many almonds you should be consuming per portion? Well, while there aren’t any set rules for how many almonds you are going to be able to consume per portion, it is generally recommended that any amount between 20g-50g is suitable for an adult following a balanced and nutritious diet that has plenty of variety.
The Best-Quality Almond Varieties
Now that we explored what almonds are, what types of nutrients you can find in almonds as well as what the main health benefits of eating almonds regularly are, we are now going to be talking you through all the best types of almond varieties. Let’s take a look below:
Mandorla Di Toritto
First up, we have Mandorla di Toritto, which simply translates to “The Almond of Toritto”. If you aren’t overly familiar with this type of almond, it is a variety of almond that comes from the region of Apulia in Italy.
More specifically, it is named after the homonymous city, which is located right in the middle of the famous Murcia hills.
These almonds are known to not be as strong as some of the other almond varieties that we are going to be mentioning in this list, but many people love Mandorla di Toritto for the well-balanced and powerful flavor of these almonds.
Traditionally, Toritto almonds are included in many local sweets, baked goods, and even candies, but they can also be enjoyed on their own thanks to the sweetness of these almonds.
As for the trees that grow these almonds? Well, the trees aren’t considered to be able to produce the same yield amount as other trees, but Mandorla di Toritto trees are considered to be very resilient and capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions.
Not only that, but besides being very hardy, Mandorla di Toritto trees are also known for not requiring any fertilizer treatments to grow. Impressive or what? If you’re yet to try these almonds, you should put them on your list.
Mandorla Di Avola
Next up, we have Mandorla di Avola! Despite the fact that almonds are known for originating from Asia, it is widely considered that Mandora di Avola almonds are some of the best in the world, and interestingly enough, they come from Syracuse.
Hailing from Avola, which is otherwise known as the sunny district of Syracuse, Mandorla di Avola is known for having a distinctive flavor profile that can be either bitter or sweet, depending on the way that they have grown.
More often than not, it is common for the sweet-tasting Mandorla di Avola almonds to be used in many different types of candies and baked treats, while the Mandorla di Avola almonds that taste a little more bitter are often used to make local liquors and biscuits.
In addition to having a varying flavor profile, you might also be interested to learn that Mandorla di Avola comes in three varieties: Pizzuta, Fascionello, and Romana.
While Pizzuta almonds have a hard shell with a brown-red seed that is known for offering a deeply bitter flavor profile, Romana has a twin seed construction that is often used to make pastries thanks to its lighter flavor with a hint of sweetness.
As for the last variety of Mandorla di Avola, Fascionello? Well, this last variety is known for its irregularly shaped shell but extremely sweet flavor profile, which makes it the perfect snack on its own or included in candies and other confectionery.
As you might have been able to guess by now, Italy is one of the biggest producers of almonds in the world, especially in the present day.
Mandorle is another almond variety that hails from Italy (Sicily, to be exact) and is considered to be one of the best in the world. There are also many different types of Mandorle almonds, including Cavaliera and Bonifacio Number 1.
Similar to some of the other almond varieties that we have already included in this list, Mandorle is characterized by a varying flavor profile that can come in either sweet or bitter, depending on the unique way that it has grown.
The sweeter-tasting Mandorle almonds are often used to prepare different types of confectionery, while the Mandorle almonds that taste a little more bitter are often used to prepare biscuits and different types of liquors.
Almendra De Mallorca
As you might have already guessed from the name of this next type of almond, Almendra de Mallorca originates from Mallorca, which is one of the Balearic Islands.
Almendra de Mallorca is widely considered to be some of the best almonds in the world and is typically sold both raw and roasted, as well as with or without their shells.
No matter how these almonds are sold, one thing is for sure: the quality of these almonds is absolutely outstanding, and are rigorously tested for quality.
So much so, in fact, that Almendra de Mallorca has to be at least 12mm or larger, and anything smaller than that size is rejected. In addition to the size, Almendra de Mallorca must also contain no visible defects, and any that do have them are not sold.
Fun Fact: All of the stages of production of these almonds takes place on the island of Mallorca, including the growth, packaging, and quality-check stages.
Last but certainly not least, we have Marconas, which is another almond variety that originates from Spain.
Unlike some of the other almonds that we have mentioned in this section, this particular variety features a smooth outer shell that is a white-creamy color.
Interestingly, despite being an almond, Marconas feature a plumper appearance than traditional almonds, as well as a very soft and moist texture that is very similar to that of a Macadamia nut.
The flavor of Marconas is described as being buttery, refined, and very sweet, so it should come as no surprise to hear that it is considered to be one of the finest almond varieties across the globe.
Along with being delicious, Marconas almonds are also considered to be a great source of many healthy oils, and are available to enjoy in many ways, including fried!
What Are The Best Quality Almonds?
Now that we have learned about all of the almonds that are considered to be the best in the world, we are now going to be providing you with a rundown on some of the best quality almonds that you should consider trying.
Let’s take a look at them below:
These almonds from Blue Diamond are a favorite for a reason. Besides being a great snack, these Blue Diamond Almonds are gluten-free, which makes them an ideal choice for those who follow a gluten-free diet.
Not just that, but besides being suitable for those who cannot eat gluten, Blue Diamond Almonds also contain a delicious smoky flavor that can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or added to many different food dishes!
- Smoky flavor
- 16-ounce bag, so you’ll get plenty of value for your money,
- Low in carbs and super high in protein.
- Free from cholesterol and trans fat, as well as a great source of fiber and vitamin E.
If you’re someone who prefers their almonds to be on the plain side, then you’ll be making a good choice to pick-up the Kirkland Signature Almonds! Let’s take a closer look at them below:
Perfect for enjoying on their own as a snack or used in many different recipes (in particular, many people find these almonds to be a great choice for baking with) the Kirkland Signature Almonds are a classic choice for anyone on the hunt for smooth and creamy almonds.
- Low carbs
- Unroasted almonds.
- Around 45 servings per bag, which means you’ll get excellent value for your money.
If you’re looking for almonds that will offer you plenty of versatility and a delicious taste without breaking the bank, then we think that you should try the Happy Belly Whole Raw Almonds!
As you might have been able to guess from the name, these almonds are whole almonds, which means they have been unroasted, unsalted as well as steam pasteurized to lock in the quality.
These whole almonds are harvested from California’s Central Valley and even come with a satisfaction guarantee to provide you with peace of mind that you are getting great quality almonds that you will be able to enjoy as a snack or part of a recipe.
- Subtle, buttery flavor that you’ll be able to enjoy as a snack or with meals.
- Crunchy texture.
- Harvested directly from California’s Central Valley.
- These almonds come with a satisfaction guarantee to give you the peace of mind that you are buying the finest-quality almonds.
How To Include More Almonds In Your Diet
After reading through our list of the best quality almonds in the world, we hope that we have been able to help you discover some almond varieties that you would like to incorporate into your everyday diet.
But, if you’d like to eat more almonds (after all, they are super nutritional) and you’re not too sure about how to include them in your everyday diet – we’ve got you covered here, too.
Below, you will find a helpful breakdown of some of the easiest ways that you will be able to incorporate more almonds into your diet.
Whenever you’re ready, just keep on reading to discover our top tips to enjoying more almonds in everyday life:
As A Snack
This is by far one of the easiest (and most convenient) ways to enjoy almonds! Simply choose your favorite variety of almonds from the roundup that we have shared with you above, and grab a handful of them to enjoy each day as a snack.
This will ensure that you get a healthy amount of almonds each day, while also allowing you to enjoy a tasty and delicious snack full to the brim with nutrients!
Over The Top Of Salads
Did you know that almonds can be used as salad garnish? That’s right! If you’re getting a little bored with simply reaching for a handful of almonds each day, then why don’t you consider crushing a few up and sprinkling them over your yummy salads?
Almonds can add a creaminess to salads that can help elevate the overall flavor.
Dry Roast Them In The Oven
If you have ever had roasted peanuts before, then we’re sure that you’ll be familiar with how delicious roasted peanuts taste!
But, did you also know that you can roast other types of nuts, including almonds? If you want some variety in the way you eat almonds, simply pop them in the oven and cook until roasted.
Honey Roast Almonds
If you’re getting a little bored with dry roasting your almonds, why don’t you consider honey roasting them, instead?
Honey-roasted almonds are a great snack whenever you’re in the mood for something sweet. Plus honey roasted almonds will help to satisfy any sweet cravings you have with a healthier alternative to sugar: honey!
Add Almonds To Frozen Yogurt
Who said almonds can’t be enjoyed as a frozen treat? Almonds pair especially well with yogurt, so why don’t you consider adding them to frozen yogurt to enjoy on a hot day when you are in need of a refreshing snack that will cool you down from the sun?
We think it might become your new favorite.
Elevate Pasta Dishes With Creamy Almond Pieces
Yes, you read that right! One of the easiest (and most popular ways) to add a creamy complexity to pasta dishes is by adding nuts like almonds to them.
All you need to do is break up the almonds of your choice and then sprinkle them over the top of your pasta! It’s as easy as that and you’ll be able to enjoy your daily dose of almonds and tasty pasta dishes that all the family will love.
These are just a few of the different ways that you can enjoy almonds in your everyday life.
Plus, no matter what type of almond variety you decide to choose from the list that we have provided you with above, you will be able to incorporate almonds into your diet using any of the tips that we have just shared with you above.
There we have it, you’ve made it to the end of the guide. Now that you have taken the time to read through our guide, we hope that you have learned about all the different types of almond varieties of the world, as well as discovered what the best varieties are.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any more questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to the best almonds in the world, there are so many different varieties that are all deserving of the title.
If you are in need of some inspiration, we recommend taking a look at our breakdown of all the almond varieties that are considered to be the best in the world above.
If you are just getting started with incorporating higher amounts of almonds into your diet and you’re not too sure about which type of almonds are going to be the best choice for you, we recommend starting with whole almonds that have a subtle and versatile taste that can be enjoyed as a snack or included in recipes.
The Happy Belly Whole Almonds are a great choice to go for.