Cashew nuts are actually the kidney-shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. While cashew apples are not appreciated in the United States, they are regarded as delicacies in Brazil and the Caribbean. Cashews are always sold shelled because the interior of the shells contains a caustic resin, known as cashew balm, which must be carefully removed before the nuts are fit for consumption. This caustic resin is actually used in industry to make varnishes and insecticides.
Nutritional Values of Cashews:
Following are the list of nutrients present in 100 grams of cashews:
- Calories – 578
- Protein – 18.5 grams
- Carbohydrates – 27 grams
- Fat – 48.2 grams
- Phosphorus – 428 mg
- Calcium – 46 mg
- Niacin – 2.1 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.19 mg
- Thiamine – 0.63 mg
- Protein – 18.22 mg
Cashews Health Benefits:
- Selenium: A mineral which is needed in your body in a normal or small amount is selenium, and grown up should get 55mcg of selenium per day for better health. The lack of selenium in your body can cause harm to the internal roots of your body, because of harmful poison like cigarette and pollution. These can cause health problems but selenium in your body helps to prevent the development of cancer and Heart disease which can cause due to the damage in your roots. We can get 3.3 mcg of nutrient by having 1 ounce of cashews.
- Diabetes: Recent clinical trials have shows that cashews and other nuts work with a person’s lipid profile to have a beneficial effect on those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes.And with 37.7 percent of the daily recommended value of monounsaturated fats, cashews can reduce triglyceride levels in diabetics, protecting them from further complications.Integrating frequent nut consumption into your diet, especially raw cashews, may lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, the most commonly diagnosed form of diabetes in America today.
- Protein: Cashew has many benefits as it is good for skin, muscles and hair because it contains plant protein which is very necessary for the body. Our daily intake of protein should be 10 to 35 percent, and we can attain 4 g of protein by eating only one ounce of cashews so to meet our daily protein requirement cashews is the best option.
- Heart Health: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health by helping to reduce triglyceride levels, high levels of which are associated with an increased risk for Heart disease. Cashews are wonderfully cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. The Magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.
- Magnesium: In its raw form, cashews contain 82.5 mg of Magnesium per ounce. An adequate level of Magnesium is essential in body to help it against high blood pressure, muscle spasms, migraine headaches, fatigue, etc. Another important role Magnesium plays is that of balancing calcium. Magnesium controls the level of calcium infused in the nerves, ensuring that the nerves are relaxed and functioning smoothly. Relaxed nerves support healthy muscles and bones.
- Weight Control: Cashews are often recommended for various diets, that are a part of weight loss programs. They have zero percent cholesterol content. As they are high on energy density and dietary fiber, when eaten in moderation they can be filling and satisfying.
- Gallstones Prevention: A handful of nuts, eaten every day can lower the risk of developing gallstones considerably. This has been proved according to the research undertaken by Nurses’ Health Study, after conducting a extensive study of nearly 80,718 women, who were put up on a diet of one ounce of nuts a week.
- Dental Care: Cashew helps maintain healthy gums, teeth and other aspects of dental care, by destroying bacteria responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, acne, tuberculosis, etc. Read more on nuts in nutritional value of nuts.
- Cancer Prevention: Cashews are ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing. Studies have also shown that cashews can reduce your colon cancer risk. Their high copper content also endows the seed with the power to eliminate free radicals and they are also good sources of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect us from Heart disease and cancer.
- Ensure Freshness: Always check your cashews for freshness before you dig in. While cashews have a high amount of the stabilizing oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, they should always be stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. And don’t eat too many at once. Because of their high fat content, over consumption of cashew nuts can cause unwanted Weight gain in individuals. The oxalates in cashews cal also become concentrated in body fluids, crystallizing and causing health problems in people with preexisting kidney or gallbladder problems.
- Carbohydrates: According to the mayoclinic.com our body needs Carbohydrates mainly from plant food, cashews contain Carbohydrates and it is also a plant food. We should take 45 to 65 percent of our calories intake from Carbohydrates because it is the main source of energy, and by taking 1 ounce of cashews we can get 9 g of Carbohydrates.
- Medical Benefits: The cashew tree’s leaves and bark as well as the popular cashew apple possess herbal health benefits that include killing bacteria and germs, stopping diarrhea, drying secretions, increasing the libido, and reducing fever, blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature, but unfortunately the byproducts of these parts of the cashew tree are not available in North America and Europe, mainly due to their highly perishable qualities.
- Bone Health: Cashews are particularly rich in Magnesium. It’s a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but Magnesium is as well. Most of the Magnesium in the human body is in our bones. Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as it needs. Copper found in cashews is vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elastin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints.
- Hair and Skin Health: Cashews are rich in the mineral copper. An essential component of many enzymes, copper plays its part in a broad array of processes. One copper-containing enzyme, tyrosinase, converts tyrosine to melanin, which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color. Without the copper cashews are so abundant in, these enzymes would not be able to do their jobs.
- Tryptophan: A handful of cashew nuts contains over a thousand milligrams of the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid has been shown to work as well as many common antidepressants in alleviating depression. Tryptophan produces feelings of well-being and may help to stabilize mood, without the harmful side effects of harsh prescription drugs.