Cashew nuts are one of the favorite snacks of every people in the world. These kidney-shaped seeds are considered as delicious nuts that are produced by a cashew tree. As a matter of fact, cashew nuts have many uses, especially in cooking. But aside from being a delicious snack it also has many health benefits. To learn more about the health benefits of cashew nuts as well as its uses and its nutritional facts, consider reading the whole article. So let’s start by knowing the cashew nuts itself below.
Cashew Nuts: What is this?
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The cashew tree is found in many tropical areas in the world. And were a native tree in coastal areas of north-eastern Brazil. This tree belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae alongside with pistachios and mangoes. It is the source of cashew nuts which are obtainable at the bottom of the cashew apple. It has a height that grows up to 46 ft. or 14 m but also has a dwarf counterpart that grows up to 20 ft. or 6 m.
Moreover, the leaves of cashew are spirally organized and usually have a leathery texture with an elliptic to obovate shape. It is 4 to 22 cm long and 2 to 15 wide with smooth margins. On the other hand, the flowers of cashew are found in a loose branching cluster of flowers that measures up to 26 cm long. Each cashew flower is small with five slim acute petals and the color of the flower is green but eventually turns to red.
For instance, most of us mistakenly know that the cashew apple is the fruit of the cashew tree but botanically speaking, it’s just a swollen seed stem of the true fruit. As a matter of fact, the true fruit of the cashew tree is the boxing-glove shaped or the kidney-shaped drupe. Which is available at the bottom of the cashew apple. The inner part of this drupe is a single seed which is also popular as the cashew nut. The seed or nut is usually surrounded by a double shell having an allergenic anacardic acid and phenolic acid. These are strong skin irritants that are chemically in connection to the famous oil urushiol which is also a toxin found in poison ivy.
Here is the Nutrition value of cashew Nuts per 100 grams:
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Dietary Fiber||3.3 grams||8.5%|
|Total Fat||43.85 grams||146%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||0.5 milligrams||1%|
|Vitamin E||5.31 milligrams||35%|
|Vitamin K||34.1 µg||28%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.864 milligrams||17%|
Uses of Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are widely used for various culinary purposes. As a matter of fact, it is beneficial for recipes and sometimes you may process it into cashew butter or cheese. It is also useful in the Indian Cuisines. Here, they usually use the whole nuts to garnish sweets. On the other hand, the ground nuts may become paste to form a base for curie sauces or for some sweets.
Cashew nuts are also popular in the Philippines wherein it was eaten with suman and was used for various pastries. In addition, the shell of cashew nut is beneficial in yielding products like lubricants, paints, and waterproofing. The shell also has the so-called cashew balm which may cause contact dermatitis. That’s why cashew nuts are not for sale with shells on it. Another useful part of the cashew tree is the cashew apple which is beneficial in making sweet fruit drink or sanitized into liquor.
Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts
As what showed in the nutrition facts above, cashew nuts have many promising nutrients that trigger many interesting health benefits. Listed below are the top health benefits of cashew nuts:
1. Provides Good sleep
Cashew nuts can provide good and relaxed sleep. This is essential to those who are suffering from insomnia and restlessness.
2. Prevents Muscular Degeneration
UV radiation causes muscular degeneration but cashew nuts have the ability to prevent muscular degeneration by filtering the UV rays from the sun.
3. Good for the Heart
As compared to other nuts, cashew nuts have low-fat content. They are cholesterol free and rich in antioxidants which are good for the heart. It also has magnesium that lowers the risk of high blood pressure.
4. Avert the Risk of Cancer
Cashew nuts are rich in proanthocyanidins and copper, which helps in the prevention of cancer by stopping the cancer cells to divide further.
5. Eliminate Free Radicals
Cashew nut is a helping agent that utilizes iron properly in our body. When iron is properly in utilization inside the body, the free radicals are more likely to vanish.
The health benefits of cashew nuts mentioned above are just a few of its capabilities. As a matter of fact, it has many other benefits like preventing gallstones, maintaining healthy hair. Furthermore, it is also good for weight loss, provides healthy teeth and gums, good for digestion and many more.