Cashews are a type of nut with a soft consistency and sweet flavor. Botanical name of cashew is Anacardium occidentale which belongs to family Anacardiaceae.
The plant may grow to 12 metres (40 feet) in height where the soil is fertile and the humidity high. The leathery leaves are spirally arranged and elliptical in shape. The curved fruit, which is not a true nut, is shaped like a large thick bean and can reach more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. It appears as though one of its ends has been forcibly sunk into a pear-shaped swollen stem (hypocarp), called the cashew apple. The cashew apple, which is an accessory fruit (e.g., not a true fruit), is about three times as large as the true fruit and is reddish or yellow. The true fruit has two walls, or shells. The outer shell is smooth, thin, and somewhat elastic and is olive green until maturity, when it becomes pale brown. The inner shell is harder and must be cracked like the shells of nuts to obtain the edible seed inside.The cashew apples are picked by hand, and the curved fruits are first detached and then sun-dried.
Nutritional Value –
1 ounce of raw cashews (28.35 grams) contains:
- 157 calories
- 8.56 grams (g) of carbohydrate
- 1.68 g of sugar
- 0.9 g of fiber
- 5.17 g of protein
- 12.43 g of total fat
- 10 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 1.89 mg of iron
- 83 mg of magnesium
- 168 mg of phosphorus
- 187 mg of potassium
- 3 mg of sodium
- 1.64 mg of zinc
Cashews also contain vitamins C and B, including 7 micrograms (mcg) of DFE folate.
A 1-ounce serving of cashews is about 18 whole cashews. Cashews are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a good source of protein.
• Heart health
The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cashews can help decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack.
• Bone health
Cashews are one of the few food sources that are high in copper. Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis.The magnesium in cashews is also important for bone formation as it helps with the assimilation of calcium into the bone. Manganese, another mineral in cashews, has been shown to prevent osteoporosis.
• Skin Health
The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but also helps prevent cancer as well.
• Eyes Health
It helps in prevention of age related macular degeneration, thus good for eyes health.
In comparison to diets excluding the intake of nuts, people consuming nuts on a moderate and regular basis lose weight faster. As cashews are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids they contribute to giving a boost to the metabolic process to burn excess fat.Nuts should always be eaten raw and unsalted, so they are beneficial for weight loss efforts.
• Dietary Fiber
Cashew nuts have a great percentage of dietary fibers. The two essential dietary fibres required by our body are, oleic acid and palmitic acid. These fibers are not produced by our body hence they need to be consumed externally. Cashew nuts are good sources of these fibers.
• Healthy Hair
The consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. It also enhances hair colour and can provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.
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