Cashew, (Anacardium occidentale), is a tree of the sumac family (Anacardiaceae), it is cultivated for its edible seeds, which are commonly called cashew “nuts”. The nut, also known as cashew, is commonly eaten as food. It is also used to make medicine and other health-related varieties.
Health benefits of cashew include:
They are rich in copper, which helps in the metabolism of iron, helps in the formation of red blood cells (RBC), and helping to keep the bones and immune system healthy. It is also vital for the nervous and skeletal system of the body. A deficiency of copper in the body may result in osteoporosis and irregular heartbeats.
Cashews contain very low amounts of sugar and no cholesterol which makes them safe for diabetic patients to consume.
Cashews provide phosphorus, which is essential for the healthy development of teeth and bones. Phosphorus also aids protein synthesis, absorption of carbohydrates and fats, and the maintenance of cellular health.
Cashews contain zinc, which plays a vital role in healing wounds. Pregnant women are advised o take cashew because it helps in the growth of the baby and the developmental years of childhood to maintain a healthy body.
Cashews are a good source of healthy dietary fats, which are essential for our body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E, and K) and produce fatty acids that are vital for the development of the brain and blood clotting. Two essential dietary fibres required by our body are, oleic acid and palmitic acid and cashew nuts provide these fibers.
Cashew fruits contain certain antioxidants (vitamin E and K) that protect the body from damages that may be caused by harmful molecules.
Cashews provide an excellent source of protein. Protein is one of three macronutrients your body uses for energy, and it is particularly important for rebuilding muscle tissue and creating new cellular compounds. Eating protein prevents you from getting hungry between meals, which can help you stick to a healthy eating plan.
Cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL) or cashew shell oil is a natural resin with a yellowish sheen found in the honeycomb structure of the cashew nutshell and is a byproduct of processing cashew nuts. It performs a lot of functions like developing drugs, antioxidants, fungicides, and biomaterials.
Oil extracted from cashew seeds can be used for curing cracked heels. Powdered cashew seeds have anti-venom effects and are used for treating snake bites. The gum extracted from the cashew stem is used as a varnish for woodworks and books.
Cashews are very nutritious and can be squeezed to your salads, soups or can be used as breakfast cereal for a rich and delicious twist to your everyday meal. The nuts attached to the cashew fruit can be fried and served as snacks.
Cashew contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and vitamin C which promote normal body functions and development as well as calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and others. They are highly rich in essential minerals offering a wide range of health benefits. Its high levels of oleic also aid greatly in promoting cardiovascular health.
Excessive consumption can have severe side effects and some people can be naturally allergic to the fruit and nut.