Even though cashews are native to the subtropical climate, they are widely popular around the whole world. This miniature nut comes in the shape of a kidney and packs a wide variety of nutrients. Cashew nuts are typically used in desserts and healthy recipes to enhance flavor. However, many people doubt the benefits of this tasty treat. It’s hard to put a pin on one point, but most people believe that you shouldn’t eat these nuts because of their high-calorie content. Even though this is partially true, cashews pack a lot of benefits that most people overlook. Before we can look at them, you should know what cashews are so you accurately understand the benefits.
What is the cashew nut?
Even if it seems like this is just another typical nut in the mix, the cashew nut begs to differ. Being a determinedly strange snack, cashew sprouts in a tail-like manner from the bottom of an oddly-shaped fruit. Nevertheless, this nut itself is poisonous and weird-looking in its natural state. Most cashew nuts used in the commercial industry are from Africa and India. However, the cashew tree, known as the Anacardiumoccidentale, is originally from the tropical regions of Brazil. This tree produces the strangely-shaped fruit known as the cashew apple, which looks somewhat similar to a pear. The cashew nut is always at its end.
Cashews have a double shell coating that protects them from bypassers who are looking for a fast buck. Anacardic acid, a lethal poison, is contained in this shell. Since it has a close relation to the toxic urushiol compound in poison ivy, this oily irritant can cause allergic rashes on the skin. The corrosive coating is the main reason cashews don’t sell with their coating, unlike other nuts, such as peanuts. Instead, cashews undergo drying and roasting processes that eliminate toxic oils and leave the exterior shell simple to remove.
The nutrients of the cashew nut
According to agricultural departments, an ounce of raw cashews contain:
- 157 calories
- 8.56 grams of carbohydrates
- 12.43 grams of total fat
- 5.17 grams of protein
- 0.9 grams of fiber
- 1.69 grams of sugar
- 1.64 milligrams of zinc
- 3 milligrams of sodium
- 187 milligrams of potassium
- 168 milligrams of phosphorus
- 83 milligrams of magnesium
- 1.89 milligrams of iron
- 10 milligrams of calcium
Cashews also happen to be an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants circulate through the cell, neutralizing free radicals that can destroy it. Vitamins E and K are two of the most strong antioxidants. Both vitamins are present in cashews, which help your body combat oxidative harm.
What are the benefits of cashews?
Cashews have spectacular health benefits that set them apart from other nuts. These include the following:
- Improved heart health: In the form of a balanced diet, studies consistently show that nut consumption reduces cholesterol, and there is rising data of advantageous effects on oxidative pressure, inflammation, and vascular activity. Cashews will help lower LDL and raise HDL carrying capacity. HDL is in charge of absorbing cholesterol from the heart and transporting it to the liver for degradation. Moreover, the nut also contains nutrients that may have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and heart-protective effects.
- Prevention of blood disorders: Cashews should be consumed in moderation and daily to prevent blood diseases. Copper is plentiful in this nut, and it supports the eradication of free radicals from the body. Iron deficiency, such as anemia, can be provoked by copper deficiency. As a result, we should consume the advised amount of copper in our nutrition.
- Eye protection: ZeaXanthin is a potent antioxidant pigment found in cashews. This pigment, according to researchers, is easily absorbed by our retina. Consequently, a protective layer forms over our retina, stopping UV rays from harming us. Small quantities of ZeaXanthin help maintain eye health in the elderly by preventing age-related macular degeneration.
- Weight loss: People who eat nuts on a moderate and daily basis lose weight faster than those who follow a diet that excludes them. Furthermore, nuts like cashews are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help to speed up the metabolic process and burn fat.
- No cholesterol: Cholesterol is a waxy substance that develops in the circulatory system, creating plaque and limiting cardiovascular capacity. Including cholesterol-free foods in your diet can be a reliable choice that increases blood movement. Cashews have no cholesterol, making them an excellent selection for heart health.
- Lower risk of gallstones: Gallstones are cholesterol or bilirubin-based stones that can be very painful. According to studies, eating cashews is linked to a 25% reduction in the incidence of gallstones. As a result, it can reduce your risk of unpleasant gallstones.
Are raw cashews better than processed cashews?
When you process the cashews, they lose out on some of their beneficial properties. If you want maximum nutrition out of these nuts, you should consider eating raw varieties. These raw nuts can provide you the following:
- Iron: Raw cashews are an excellent source of iron that helps in building them. If you get enough iron, your immune system stays strong as it helps your white blood cells to fight off infections.
- Copper and Zinc: Thanks to zinc intake, it activates numerous body proteins that lead to healthy cell growth and a sound immune system. On the other end, copper helps your body process iron, help with energy generation, and strengthen blood vessels.
- Metabolic Manganese: Raw cashews have a high manganese content, which is good for your wellbeing. This mineral assists in the processing of essential proteins and fats. Moreover, it also promotes the production of proteins needed for wound healing.
How to prepare cashews
Cashews are always available at the local market or online stores. Cashews should be stored in a sealed container if bought in bulk. They should be kept away from intense heat, regardless of how they’re stored.
Cashews are edible on their own as a snack, but they are also a valuable addition to several dishes. They have a deliciously nutty taste as well as a satisfying crunch. This quality makes them a great way to add texture to a variety of dishes and baked goods. The following are some ideas to include these delicious nuts in your meal plan:
- Combine cashews with other dried fruits to create a trail mix
- Include cashews in a healthy and gratifying salad
- Mix with maple syrup and ground oats to get granola bars
- Stir in soy sauce and oyster sauce to make flavored cashews for lo mein noodles
Raw cashews have a milder taste than roasted cashews, making them ideal for adding a creamy texture to dishes without overwhelming other flavors. To use raw cashews in soups, soak them in water overnight.
If you want the most nutrition from bite-sized food, cashews are one of the best options out there. When it comes to such nuts, less is usually more. However, you should try and avoid them altogether if you happen to have nut allergies. If you don’t have any such thing to worry about, you can go ahead and incorporate them into your meals. On the other hand, you should be careful when eating raw cashews because there are some varieties out there that are unsafe.