Hello, dear readers! Today’s post is going to be about Cashew nuts. I grew fond of them not a long time ago, hence, today I wanted to share with you more information about Cashew nuts and why are they so delicious and yet healthy.
What is the cashew nut?
The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple. The tree can grow as high as 14 m (46 ft), but the dwarf cashew, growing up to 6 m (20 ft), has proven more profitable, with earlier maturity and greater yields.
The cashew seed is often considered a nut in the culinary sense; this cashew nut is eaten on its own, used in recipes, or processed into cashew cheese or cashew butter. Like the tree, the nut is often simply called a cashew.
Beneficial effects of the Cashew nuts
The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in its case study shows that nuts are likely to be beneficial for health, keeping away various ailments, such as heart disease. Cashews help lower LDL (bad cholesterol levels) and increase the carrying capacity for HDL (good cholesterol level). HDL is responsible to absorb the cholesterol from the heart and take it to the liver where it can be broken down.
The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) stated that nutrients in nuts, such as unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may confer heart-protective, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cashew nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fats (MUFA) that slow the release of blood into the bloodstream. The anti-diabetic properties of cashews work thanks to hydro-ethanolic substances in the form of anarcadic acid, which controls the spread of glucose in the body. Sufficient cashew intake also helps prevent arterial hypertension (blood pressure greater than 140/90).
Prevention of blood disease
Cashew nuts are rich in copper, which plays an important role in the elimination of free radicals from the body. Copper deficiency can lead to iron deficiencies, in my case, anemia.
Protector for the eye
Cashews contain a rich antioxidant pigment named Zea Xanthin. This pigment is directly absorbed by our retina, says nutritionist Anju Sood. This then forms a protective layer over our retina which prevents the harmful UV rays.
Dr. Anshul Jaibahrat Bhatnagar says small quantities of Zea Xanthin help prevent age-related macular degeneration in the elderly and hence helps maintain eye health.
Improves the skin
Cashew nut oil is rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and phosphorous. Also, they are great sources of phytochemicals, proteins, and antioxidants. The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but it helps to prevent cancer as well.
Enriches the hair follicle
The consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. “Copper present in cashew nut oil helps in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin,” says nutritionist Gargi Sharma. Cashew enhances hair color and will provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.
Eating cashew nuts will maintain the gums and teeth healthy, as cashews have a positive effect for the oral cavity. The chewing causes excessive saliva production which neutralizes streptococcal bacteria in the mouth.
Besides promoting a healthy brain function, cashews also contain phytosterols that reduce the duration of headaches.