Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts




About Cashew:

Cashew nuts are popular food source and Snack. Cashews are a good source of antioxidants, also rich source of dietary trace minerals copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
Cashew nuts are commonly used in various cuisines, whole for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries or some sweets; it is also used in powdered form in the preparation of several sweets and desserts.


Did You Know?

  1. The cashew tree is large and evergreen, a plant that has leaves throughout the year, always green, growing up to 32 feet tall, with a short, often irregularly shaped trunk.
  2. The fruit of the cashew tree is an accessory fruit (sometimes called a pseudo carp or false fruit).It is called the cashew apple
  3. The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe (a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell with a seed (kernel) inside) that grows at the end of the cashew apple. The drupe develops first on the tree, and then expands to become the cashew apple. Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut.
  4. The cashew nut is served as a snack or used in recipes, like other nuts, although it is actually a seed. In order to remove the toxic wrapper, cashews are roasted outdoors before being brought to market. These are the “raw cashews” you can buy in bulk. They may be roasted again like other nuts and seeds to enhance their flavor.
  5. The cashew apple is a soft fruit, rich in nutrients, and contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. It is eaten fresh, cooked in curries, or fermented into vinegar, as well as an alcoholic drink. It is also used to make preserves, chutneys, and jams in some countries
  6. The shell of the cashew nut yields derivatives that can be used in many applications from lubricants to paints
  7. The other parts of the Cashew tree have traditionally been used for snake-bites and other folk remedies. They grind the seeds into a poultice for treating snakebites, apply nut oil to cracked heels or as an antifungal agent, and use the fruits, bark, and leaves for many other purposes including anti-fungal activity, for sores and rashes, or as an antipyretic, and for antidiarrheal applications.

Goodness of Cashew Nut:
Sometimes called “nature’s vitamin pill,” cashew nuts is an energizing food. The cashew nut, a popular treat found on grocery and health food store shelves across the world, is jam-packed with nutritional content. It packs 5 grams of protein per ounce and high levels of the essential minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese, which are utilized in holistic health solutions and healthy diets.
Cashew
Good for your Heart:

  1. Cashew contains healthy monounsaturated fat that promotes good cardiovascular health, because monounsaturated fats reduce high triglyceride levels which are associated with increased risk for heart disease.
  2. It helps in increasing the good cholesterol HDL and reduces the bad cholesterol LDL.
  3. Cashew nuts lower your blood pressure with the help of magnesium present in them.


Good for your Bones, Teeth and Hair and skin:

  1. Cashew rich in source of magnesium works with calcium to support healthy muscles and bones in the body
  2. Cashew's has high copper content is vital in energy production, greater flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints.
  3. Cashew nut consumption helps the body utilize iron, eliminate free radicals, develop bone and connective tissue, and produce the skin and hair pigment melanin
  4. As mentioned before, the magnesium content present in cashew nuts is very good for bones. So it gives healthy teeth as well as strong gums to hold them
  5. Research has also shown that chemicals in cashew nuts kill gram positive bacteria, a pervasive mouth affliction that causes tooth decay, acne, tuberculosis and leprosy.
  6. Cashew nuts have the ability to filter Sun’s UV rays and protect us from macular degeneration


Diet and weight Management:

  1. Cashew nuts have a high energy density and high amount of dietary fiber, both have been attributed to a beneficial effect on weight management, but only when eaten in moderation
  2. Cashew nuts do have a relatively high fat content (12 grams per ounce, 2 grams saturated fat), but it is considered “good fat.” This is due to the agreeable fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively, which scientists say is the ideal ratio for optimal health.


Good Source of Magnesium:
The cashew nut’s high magnesium content also takes the credit for its healthy heart qualities. In their raw form, cashews contain 82.5 milligrams of magnesium per ounce, or 21 percent of the daily recommended value of the heart healthy mineral, which also protects against high blood pressure, muscle spasms, migraine headaches, tension, soreness and fatigue.
Magnesium also works with calcium to support healthy muscles and bones in the human body.

Antioxidants and rich in Vitamins:

  1. Selenium, copper, magnesium etc. act as co-factors for many enzymes
  2. Copper, which is an essential component of the enzyme superoxide dismutase , is vital in energy production and antioxidant defense, producing greater flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints.
  3. Cashew nuts are rich in vitamins like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin etc. These vitamins keep you safe from sideroblastic anemia, pellagra, etc
  4. Prevents Gallstones:
  5. Daily intake of cashewnut can reduce the risk of developing gallstones up to 25%.


Prevents Cancer:

  1. Cashews contain several antioxidant compounds that are regarded as anticancer agents. The National Cancer Institute explains that free radicals, which are damaged molecules, attack healthy cells, altering DNA and potentially leading to cancer. Proanthocyanidins are some of the antioxidant compounds found in cashews. These beneficial chemicals may have the ability to stop the growth of certain cancer cells. This is one of the major cashew nut benefits.


By Product of Cashew Nut:

  1. Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) is a versatile by-product of the cashew industry. The nut has a shell of about 1/ 8 inch thickness inside which is a soft honey comb structure containing a dark reddish brown viscous liquid. It is called cashew nut shell liquid,. It is a raw material of multiple uses in developing drugs, antioxidants, fungicides, etc. Its composition varies depending on how it is processed.
  2. Anacardic acid is used in the chemical industry for the production of cardanol, which is used for resins, coatings, and frictional materials
  3. It is used in tropical folk medicine and for anti-termite treatment of timber.
  4. It is often considered as the better and cheaper material for unsaturated phenols.
  5. Other uses of cashew shell oil have been explored, including as an additive to break fluid, to reduce brake fade and brake lining wear.

Cashewnut - A versatile health food

Cashewnuts pack proteins, fats and vitamins to a high degree. Proteins, the tissue builders in our system, steal a large dividend of cashew contents. Cashew kernels contain 21 % of vegetable proteins. Nutritionally they stand at par with milk, eggs and meat. It also contains a high concentration of much needed amino acids in right proportions which is very rare in nuts.

Indian cashews are natures  proven finest diet. Its an all time all place snack. It is a storehouse of nutrients. It contains protein 21%, fat 47%, moisture 5.9 %, carbohydrates 22%, phosphorus 0.45%, calcium 0.05%, iron 5% for every 100 gm and other mineral elements. Eating nuts can be very beneficial as long as they replace other foods and are not just added to the diet.

Cashewnut kernel contains 47% fat, but 82% of this fat is unsaturated fatty acids. This is important because no dietician will prescribe a saturated fat packet to any one due to its high cholesterol content. Unsaturated fat eliminates the possibility of, and actually lowers, the cholesterol level in blood.

The most prominent vitamins in cashew are Vitamin A, D and E. These vitamins help assimilate the fats and increase the immunity level.Cashew comprises a surprising spectrum of vitamins and Amino acids in the right proportions. The percentage of Arginine is 10.3, Histidine 1.8, Lysine 3.3, Tyrosine 3.2, Phenylalamine 4.4, Cyctine 1.0, Methinonine 1.3, Valine 4.5. Many people mistakenly believe that cashew contain cholesterol. The fact is that there is no cholesterol in nuts since it is a plant product.
 
 
Cashew kernel is a rich source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron. They protect the human nervous system.
 

Cashew kernel has a very low content of carbohydrates, almost as low as 1% of soluble sugar which means that you are privileged to a sweet taste without worrying about excess calories. Cashew keeps your waist trim and mouth busy. Cashewnuts do not add to obesity and help control diabetes. It is a good appetizer, an excellent nerve tonic, a steady stimulant and a body builder. All this in addition to an exotic taste.

Cashewnuts, along with other tree nuts, have been a vital source of nutrients for centuries.  Nuts, like grains and legumes, are seeds filled with nutrients that are designed by nature to direct and enhance the development of life.


Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale),
Nutrition value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

553 Kcal

28%

Carbohydrates

30.19 g

23%

Protein

18.22 g

32.5%

Total Fat

43.85 g

146%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

3.3 g

8.5%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

25 mcg

6%

Niacin

1.062 mg

6.5%

PantothenicAcid

0.864 mg

17%

Pyridoxine

0.417 mg

32%

Riboflavin

0.058 mg

4.5%

Thiamin

0.423 mg

35%

Vitamin A

0 IU

0%

Vitamin C

0.5

1%

Vitamin E

5.31 mg

35%

Vitamin K

4.1

28%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

12 mg

1%

Potassium

660 mg

14%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

37 mg

4%

Copper

2.195 mg

244%

Iron

6.68 mg

83.5%

Magnesium

292 mg

73%

Manganese

1.655 mg

72%

Phosphorus

593 mg

85%

Selenium

19.9 mg

36%

Zinc

5.78 mg

52.5%

Phyto-Nutrients

 

 

Carotene-β

0 mcg

--

Crypto-xanthin-β

0 mcg

--

Lutein-zeaxanthin

22 mcg

--

 

 

 

 

 

 


Safety profile

Cashew nut allergy is common in some individuals, especially in children. The reaction symptoms may range from simple skin itching (hives) to severe form anaphylactic manifestations including breathing difficulty, pain abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea.

The allergic manifestations are due to chemical compound anacardic acid (urushiol) that is present in cashew apples, shells and nuts. Cross reactions also occurs with some other nuts and fruits of anacardiaceae family such as mango, pistachio etc.

Individuals with known allergic reactions to nuts and fruits may observe caution while eating cashews.