Cashews nuts are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. All nuts in general are very good for you, but let's look at some health benefits and facts about cashews.
Where do Cashews come from?
Cashew nuts are part of the fruit (cashew apples) produced by the tropical evergreen cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale). Cashew nuts are actually the kidney shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of a cashew apple. Raw, the nut is soft, white and meaty. However, it changes in taste and texture when roasted. Cashew trees flower in late November or December and ripe fruits start to drop from the tree from late January until April. The cashew fruits are collected by hand from under the trees. The seeds are then removed from the cashew apples before being dried in the sun for three or four days. Cashew nuts are extremely difficult to extract from their seeds. This is because the nut it has two layers of a hard shell. The seeds must be soaked and then roasted before the shell can be removed by hand with a special nut cracker.
Cashew nuts are an abundant source of essential minerals including copper an important component to many of your body’s enzymes. A one ounce serving of cashews has 5 grams of protein. Cashews have high levels of essential minerals. Including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese which are utilized in holistic health situations and healthy diets.
May Prevent Cancer
High copper content presented in cashews help fight cancer cells, especially for colon cancer. Cashews contain proanthocyanidians which belong to the family of flavonols; which are well known to stop cancer cells from division.
Good for your Heart
Cashews are very healthy for your heart as they contain no fat when compared to other nuts. They are also free from cholesterol.
Lowers High Blood Pressure
In cashews high magnesium content is present which enables them to lower down the blood pressure levels in your body.
Healthier Bones & Teeth
The presence of magnesium in cashew nuts is important for bone health. They are also important for healthy teeth and strong gums. Cashews possess a heavy amount of calcium and magnesium that are really essential for strong bones and come in handy to tackle bone diseases.
Improves Digestive Health
Cashews help in growth development and digestion. Cashews contain lots of fiber and protein. Fiber is one nutrient that promotes digestive health.
Helps with Weight Loss
Cashew nuts are considered as fat, yet they contain good cholesterol. It has been shown that eating cashew nuts in moderation can assist in reducing weight. Contrary to popular believe those who eat cashews at least twice a week weigh less then compared to those who eat cashews less than every two weeks.
Promotes Better Sleep
It has been said that cashews can promote better sleep. This is thanks to their magnesium content. The nutrient was found to have a calming effect on the mind and body.
Helps with Depression
The Vitamin B6 that is in cashews helps with the uptake of serotonin in the body. The vitamin B6 and trytophan work to create a relax zen state that helps fight a sour or anxious mood. Vitamin B6 also reduces depression and improves overall brain health by helping magnesium rich cells more effectively.
Improves Nerve Health
Cashews contain healthy fats that may promote the health of nerves, by enhancing the myelin coats around them.
It has been said a daily intake of cashews (and other nuts in general) has been found to reduce the risk of developing gallstones. A daily intake of cashew nuts can reduce the risk of developing gallstones up to 25%.
Eliminates Free Radicals
Cashews can help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals that otherwise may cause health problems.
Helps Prevent Muscular Degeneration
Cashew nuts have the ability to filter suns UV rays and prevent from muscular degeneration.
Cashews contain zeaxanthin, an important anti-oxdiant that may help prevent muscular degeneration.
Contains lots of Vitamins
Cashew is one of the most energy rich nuts. It’s kernels are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. Crunchy and delicious cashew nuts packed with energy antioxidants minerals and vitamins that are essential for robust health.
Makes a tasty snack
Now to be fair nuts in general make great snacks. Cashew nuts are often eaten dried, roasted or salted. Raw cashews are one of my favorites. Another one of they ways I love to have them is roasted with some sort of herb or seasoning. You can find so many flavor variations on the web. Here are a few from Pinterest:
And the best part is cashew are high in protein and great for weigh loss making them a great snack.
Good substitute for Vegans
Did you know cashews can be a substitute for dairy? This makes the cashew nut very helpful for vegan diets. You can find recipes for Cashew Milk, Cashew Butter, Cashew Cheese... the list goes on. You'll see I have a few recipes listen below.
How can you get more cashews in your diet? Here are a few recipes for I've used and found for cooking with cashews.
Whole or chopped cashew nuts can be added to Chinese or Indian dishes or they can provide crunch to Asian stir-fries, noodle dishes or curries. And like I said above, they make great snacks or side dishes.
Cashews are excellent source of nutrients. But be aware of how many you consume. Increased intake of cashews (more than 30 grams a day) can spike your calorie intake and also may cause kidney stones. Consuming cashews (and other nuts) in moderation is key. Overall though, a daily intake of a handful of cashew has been proven to better your health.