The cashew apple is a sweet and succulent fruit that is loved by many; the nut which is highly nutritious is loved by few and even those few who take it are unaware of the nutritional values, they just take it for the sweet, buttery and salty taste.
We will be looking at the tremendous nutritional benefits of this wonderful fruit (the cashew nut is actually the main fruit while the cashew apple that we eat is known as the accessory fruit); these are one of the best tasting nuts and there are nutritionally packed, sit back and enjoy your reading.
They are very nutritious: These nuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants; they are especially rich in vitamins E, B6 and K, copper, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium. Taking these nuts regularly will help maintain the functions of the body.
They boost the immune system: These nuts are rich in zinc; this mineral plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system, it protects the body against microbial infection, it aids in the healing of wounds and synthesis of protein. Zinc is also needed by a pregnant woman because it helps the normal growth and development of the baby.
They make the muscles and nerves healthy: Cashews are very rich source of magnesium which is vital for healthy development of bones, nerves, muscles, tissues and organs of the body. Magnesium helps the nerve to function properly; it maintains blood pressure and keeps the bones strong.
They make the hair healthy: These nuts are rich in copper which is responsible for the colour of the hair; if you want black hair, then take these nuts regularly.
They boost the functions of the heart: These nuts can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases; they reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure, they are rich inn arginine which protects the inner lining of the walls of the arteries. They contain healthy fats that are good for the heart and they also contain good amount of folate which helps in fighting heart disease.
They prevent blood disease: They help in the proper formation of red blood cells; they are also rich in copper which eliminates free radicals from the body, a deficiency of copper in the body can also lead to iron deficiency which can lead to anemia. Taking cashew nuts regularly will cleanse your blood and prevent blood diseases.
They reduce the risk of diabetes: these nuts have low sugar and no harmful cholesterol and this makes them safe to be eaten by a diabetic patient; they lower the risk of type II diabetes, the nuts are also rich in magnesium which influence the activities of insulin and regulate blood sugar.
They are good source of dietary fiber: These nuts are rich in two essential dietary fibers needed by the body; these fibers are oleic acid and palmitic acid. These fibers help proper digestion of food and prevent digestive problems and disorders.
They boost healthy erythrocytes: These nuts are rich in copper and iron; this minerals work together to form new red blood cells; they also help the body utilize the newly formed red blood cells. The minerals keep blood vessels and nerves and boost the immune system and its function; they also keep the bones in good conditions and make sure they function properly.
They maintain healthy bone: Due to their rich content of vital minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium, they benefit the bone and guard against osteoporosis, demineralization and other bone problems. They are also rich in vitamin K which maintains the mineral density of the bone and prevents against fractures.
They fight cancer and help cancer patient overcome the side effects of chemotherapy: These nuts are loaded with powerful antioxidants like anacardic acids, cardanols and cardols which fights cancers and tumors and also reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. They are potent against colon, prostate and liver cancer.
They support healthy functions of the brain: The brain which is fatty in nature needs a steady supply of healthy fatty acids; these healthy fatty acids regulate mood, boost healthy aging and support cognitive function. Cashews are rich in healthy fatty acids; these nuts support cognitive abilities and multiple brain processes by regulating neurotransmitter pathways, membrane fluidity and synaptic transmission. Deficiency of these fatty acids have been associated with mental disorders like ADHD, depression, anxiety, dementia and dyslexia.
They are good for the eyes: Cashew nuts are very good for the eyes; they decrease the formation of cataracts and other age related diseases of the eyes. They have rich content of zeaxanthine and lutein; these are powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes from damages, especially those caused by light which can lead to blindness in aged people.
They prevent migraines and headaches: These nuts support healthy functions of the brain; they also improve the circulation of blood to the brain and lowers high blood pressure at the same time. They are rich in phytosterols which reduce the duration and frequencies of headaches.
They prevent anemia: These nuts are rich in iron which is needed in the red blood cells and hemoglobin; hemoglobin helps in the transport of oxygen all-round the body and iron is needed for proper functioning of enzymes and it boosts immune functions.
They make the skin healthy: These nuts are high in copper which helps in the production of collagen and melanin; melanin is responsible for the skin colour while collagen supports the elasticity of the skin and prevents against rapid aging. They are also rich in healthy fats which keep the skin hydrated and at the same time prevent premature aging and flaking of the skin.
They help in weight loss: They are rich in plant fats which are a good replacement for animal fats; these nuts are rich in mono and poly-unsaturated fats which help in managing weight and it also reduce the buildup of fat and cholesterol in the heart. These good fats which are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are helps in controlling weight, they also reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and obesity.
They are good source of energy: These nuts provide energy to the body; they contain thiamine which is needed to convert food eaten into energy, a deficiency in thiamine leads to fatigue, memory loss and body pains.
They prevent gallstones: Excess cholesterol can accumulate in the gallbladder in a stone-like form and cause lots of pains and discomforts; eating cashew nuts will help to decrease the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and it will also lower the risk of the formation of gallstone.
How to eat cashew nuts
In Nigeria; these nuts are usually roasted and the back is removed before eating; it can be salted depending on the individual’s preference. Butter can be made from these nuts; it is called cashew butter and it is a great alternative to peanut butter, it is made by soaking and blending cashew nuts and then only salt is added.
Cashew flour can also be made from the nut; it is made by drying and grinding the nut, this flour can be added to pancakes, muffins, cookies, biscuits, ice creams, and other delicacies; it can also be added to vegetarian delicacies. Cashew milk can also be gotten from these nuts.