The fruit of the almond consists of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are sold shelled (i.e., after the shells are removed), or unshelled (i.e., with the shells still attached) (Wikipedia, nd).
Severity of almond-induced allergic reactions ranges from slight oral allergy syndrome to severe and even potentially fatal systemic reactions. Severity of allergic reactions depends on which protein(s) in the almond that the patient has become allergic to. Almonds are widely used today, especially with the popularity of the organic foods movement. Check for almonds where you might not normally expect (such as almond butter, almond oil, and almond paste) since they could be included in modern recipes (Food Info, nd).
While the almond is often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is also a component of various dishes. Almonds are available in many forms, such as whole, sliced (flaked, slivered), and as flour. Almonds yield almond oil and can also be made into almond butter or almond milk. These products can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes (Wikipedia, nd).
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Here is an article outlining some of the positive effects of almonds!