Kidney shape cashew nuts are delicious and crunchy in taste as well as offers miraculous health benefits. Hence, most popular dry fruit among people of all ages. It is famous in India by the name of kaju. Cashew tree produces cashew nut and cashew apple. It is believed to have been originated in Brazil and spread all over the world by Portuguese. Today, it is cultivated in tropical regions of all over the world. Vietnam, Nigeria, Brazil and India are largest producers of cashew nuts around all over the world. Cashew nuts belong to the Anacardiaceae family and it is scientifically known by Anacardium occidentale.
The crunchy cashew nuts are use to prepare various sweet and savory recipes in Indian cuisine. As cashew have a buttery taste and delicate flavor, the paste of cashews is often used in making sauces and curries in India. Apart from that it is considered as popular snacks and they are often eaten roasted, salted or coated with chocolate. Kaju katli is one of the favorite sweet dishes famous among all Indians. Cashews are packed with several valuable nutrients like essential fats, minerals, proteins and vitamins which bring numerous health benefits. Thus, including cashews in diet can be a great option to enhance body’s function and performance and reduces risk for debilitating diseases. Following chart represent the nutritional value of 100 gram of cashew nuts:
Nutrients: Value (100 gm of cashew nuts)
- Calcium: 37 mg
- Magnesium: 292 mg
- Phosphorous: 593 mg
- Iron: 6.68 mg
- Potassium: 660 mg
- Zinc: 5.78 mg
- Vitamin C :0.5 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.42 mg
- Folic acid: 6%
- Pantothenic acid: 0.86 mg
- Thiamine: 0.42 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.06 mg
- Niacin: 1.06 mg
- Proteins: 18.22 gm
- Sugar: 5.91 gm
- Fat: 43.85 gm
- Dietary Fiber: 3.3 gm
- Carbohydrates: 30.19 gm
Cashew nuts contain zero cholesterol and high content of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. As cashew nuts are loaded with several valuable nutrients, it offers numerous health benefits which are mentioned below:
WONDERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CASHEW NUTS:
Keeps your heart healthy: – Cashews are rich in oleic acid (monounsaturated fat) which actively conquers the transport of cholesterol into bloodstream. Studies indicate that increased intake of oleic acid reduces blood triglyceride and bad cholesterol. It also increases good cholesterol concentration. This combined action considerably improves blood lipid profile and lowers risk of heart disease. In addition, cashews contain low fat, zero cholesterol and high content of antioxidant which promote healthy heart and keeps away from several heart diseases.
Prevent cancer: – Cashews are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins. Antioxidants play a key role in eliminating the free radicals that cause damage to cells. Free radicals and damaged cells may develop some form of cancer. Hence it is essential to conquer their growth. Cashews improve immune system and kills cancer cells that develop in the body.
Promote healthy bones: – Cashews contain minerals like calcium and magnesium in large quantity and combination of both is considered essential for strengthening bones. Thus, it promotes healthy bones and reduces the problems of bone thinning and bone cracking.
Keeps control over blood pressure: – Cashews contain low amount of sodium and high content of potassium and hence keep blood pressure under check. In case of high blood pressure, the magnesium content present in cashews can help to lower the blood pressure.
Keep healthy nerves: – Cashews play a vital role in maintaining healthy nerves. It includes excellent source of magnesium which balances the calcium and prevent from entering the nerve cells. Hence, keeps muscles and blood vessels relaxed. Because deficiency of magnesium may lead calcium to enter the blood vessels which may become the cause of high blood pressure, headache and migraine.
Prevent from food poisoning: – Cashews are known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties and it include high content of zinc. Studies indicate that high content of zinc protect from food poisoning and gastroenteritis (stomach disorder). Hence, daily moderate consumption of cashew improves immunity against microbial infections.
Effective in weight loss: – Cashews are cholesterol free and contains high amount of dietary fiber. Moderate consumption of cashew is beneficial in weight loss treatment. Daily consumption of 5-10 pieces is enough but eat them into two batches as healthy snack to avoid junk food cravings. Hence, moderate consumption of cashew is essential to lose weight. Excessive consumption of Cashews nut may lead to weight gain.
Keeps tooth disorders away: – One of the major benefits of cashews is that the magnesium content present in cashew is effective in keeping healthy teeth and strong gums by destroying bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum diseases.
Cures diabetes: – Cashews contains high amount of mono-unsaturated fat which reduces triglyceride level and protect from further sugar and cholesterol related complication in diabetes. Thus, having a diet including cashew reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes significantly.
Reduce the risk of macular degeneration: – This kind of disease mostly occurs in adult due to retina gets damaged. In this disease adult loss their vision and often experiences the problem in recognizing faces, difficulty in reading etc. Cashew nuts are effective in treating macular degeneration because they have the ability to filter sun’s UV rays and protect from macular degeneration.
Acts as a brain factor: – Cashews play a crucial role in enhancing memory since it helps to increase oxygen to brain. The polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are considered as effective factor in production of brain cells. The brain depends on these two types of fats and cashews contain both fats in large quantity. In addition, copper is also essential for proper brain function because it is effective in enzyme activity, production of hormone, melanin as well as dopamine etc. Deficiency of copper may lead to severe sunburn, chronic fatigue syndromes, depression and other neurological disorders. Hence along with both fats copper is also essential for proper brain functions and the overall well being etc.
Prevent gallstones: – Research has proven that daily moderate consumption of cashew nuts helps to lowers the risk of gallstones significantly.
Other health benefits:-
- Reduce the risk of anemia.
- Aid digestion.
- Promote hair growth.