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Cashew Nut – The Cholesterol and Fat Busting Super Nut.

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Cashews, known scientifically as Anacardium occidentale, belong to the same family as the mango and pistachio nut. The name Anacardium, originally from the Greek, actually refers to the nut, core or heart of the fruit, which is outwardly located (ana means “upwards” and cardium means “heart”).

Its English name derives from the Portuguese for the fruit of the cashew tree, caju, which itself is derived from the indigenous Tupi name, acajú.

Is It A Seed Or A Fruit?

The fruit, called cashew apple is an accessory fruit (sometimes called “false” fruit)  and added in refreshing drinks in Brazil and the Carribean. The actual fruit (the one we know as cashew nut) is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe that contains a single seed and grows at the lower end of the cashew apple.

In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers introduced the cashew trees in Brazil and later in tropical colonies such as India and Africa. The cashew nut did not gain popularity until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, the leading commercial producers of cashews are India, Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria.

What we get in stores are fruits without the shells, since the inner part of the shells contain a caustic resin (a toxin), known as cashew balm, used to make varnishes and insecticides.

Top 14 Health Secrets Of Cashew Nuts

  1. Keeps the Heart Happy: Rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids, which help lower harmful LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. It prevents coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  2. Aids Weight Loss: 75% of the fat, contained in cashew nuts are unsaturated fats or “good” fat. In addition, cashew nuts provide a high amount of fiber, energy, and trigger the body’s metabolism.
  3. Prevents Cancer: High copper content and proanthocyanidins, a class of flavonols, fight against tumor cells restricting cell division, especially in colon cancer. Cashew nuts help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals.
  4. Great Magnesium Source: 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.
  5. Nourishes the Hair and Skin: Helps the body utilize iron, eliminate free radicals, develop bone and connective tissue, and produce the critical skin and hair pigment, melanin.
  6. Strengthens Bones and Nerves: Magnesium, by balancing calcium, helps regulate nerve and muscle tone. Also serves as nature’s own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve, keeping the nerves relaxed.
  7. Sharpens Brain: The brain relies on two types of fat, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, for the production of brain cells. Cashews also speed up oxygen flow to the brain.
  8. Prevents Gallstones: Daily intake of cashew nut can reduce the risk of developing gallstones up to 25%.
  9. Anti-oxidant: Contains Copper, which is an essential component of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, vital in energy production and antioxidant defense, producing greater flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints.
  10. Aids Digestion: Cashew nuts help in growth and development, nucleic acid synthesis and digestion.
  11. Rich Vitamins Source: Cashew nuts are rich in vitamins like pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), riboflavin(B2), thiamin (B1) and niacin(B3). These vitamins keep you safe from sideroblastic Anemia, Pellagra (Dermatitis), etc.
  12. Lowers Diabetes Risk: Monounsaturated fats, present in cashews, can reduce triglyceride levels (amount of fats carried in the bloodstream), lowering the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
  13. Fortifies Gums and Teeth: Magnesium gives healthy teeth as well as strong gums to hold them. Chemicals in cashew nuts kill gram positive bacteria, a pervasive mouth affliction that causes tooth decay, acne, tuberculosis and leprosy.
  14. Enhances Vision: Contains a small amount of zea-xanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes. It provides antioxidant and protective UV ray filtering functions and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

Side Effects And Precautions

  • High in Oxalates:  Cashews are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, which may lower calcium absorption and not recommended for patients suffering from kidney and gall bladder stones.
  • Allergic Reactions:  Cashew nut allergy is a common hypersensitivity condition 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.
Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

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405 comments
sdcbest
sdcbest 5pts

Cashew, doesn't it increases cholesterol and make us obese

Bonnick Jol
Bonnick Jol 5pts

I eat at least 4 whole cashews once a week....because I eat other nuts as well.

Karen Kan Grais
Karen Kan Grais 5pts

If you eat more than a few, then you have to cut something else out. \U0001f600

Karen Kan Grais
Karen Kan Grais 5pts

Everything in moderation is fine. Even the good fats will make you fat if you eat a whole tub!

John Hyde
John Hyde 5pts

Cutting down on food intake makes a difference too!

Michael Slawson
Michael Slawson 5pts

They taste good,but if the person sits on their butt all the time they will get fat,Their shells have oil,and it is one of the best lubricants there is

Sarah Leonard
Sarah Leonard 5pts

Six months from now it's gonna be like, "everybody's eating cashews and it's destroying the rain forest! "

Cathy Orr
Cathy Orr 5pts

Excess calories make you fat, not good fats. I put it this way: Would you rather eat 2700 of fat free food, or 2200 calories of natural food with good fats in it..

Cathy Orr
Cathy Orr 5pts

Cashews ARE a good fat. I'm so tired of this fat free crap that still prevails..

Alejandro Jose
Alejandro Jose 5pts

salted or unsalted? chocolate dipped or not chocolate dipped?

Debi Curlew
Debi Curlew 5pts

That's good. .cashews were my dinner today and lunch yesterday

SuratNaik
SuratNaik 5pts

how can cashew be dinner and lunch??

Max Sanders
Max Sanders 5pts

They're seeds not nuts! But delicious and nutritious either way!

RiddlerDanny
RiddlerDanny 5pts

Actually according to the story above there a fruit.

Jadilla Tafoya
Jadilla Tafoya 5pts

Jade y yo lo estamos comiendo, se come en pequeñas porciones para que sea bueno. Son grasas que nuestro cuerpo necesita

Janet Berkowitz
Janet Berkowitz 5pts

Love to eat cashew nuts. Am glad to hear about the benefits.

Teresa Teresa
Teresa Teresa 5pts

Debby Hill its sooooeasy. Soak raw/unsalted cashews in water in fridge from 1-12 hours. Rinse. Blend cashews with equal amount of water. (1 cup cashews and 1 cup water). Add vanilla and sweetener to taste. If too thick add more water. It's a basic recipe you can adjust flavors and sweeteners. Pumpkin spice, pumpkin with maple syrup is good. All time favorite is: 1 can coconut milk, 1 can water, 1 can cashews, vanilla, honey, 3T coconut oil.

Roy Moolayil
Roy Moolayil 5pts

Who is going to test this cashew nut theory? May be some store over stocked and wanting to sell it. I like to eat raw cashew nuts. The resin from the outer shell will burn if it touch our skin. (Memories from our backyard in India.)

Barbara Gwyneth Wilson
Barbara Gwyneth Wilson 5pts

Cashews contain good fats and can prevent diabetes and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Jennifer Sabatino
Jennifer Sabatino 5pts

So, where's the important info, how much per day? Or what should a serving be? Raw? Roasted?

Rachelle Stevens
Rachelle Stevens 5pts

They are good for you, regardless. But, if you are still concerned, incorporate a walk, perhaps, or a little gardening. Something to get yourself moving. Whatever takes your fancy. \U0001f60a

Rose Buckles
Rose Buckles 5pts

This is good to know. Cashews are my favorite nut. Yes, they have a lot of calories, but the type of fat they contain is the good kind. You only need a few a day to get the health benefits

Debby Hill
Debby Hill 5pts

Good! Beth can buy me all of these she wants.

Barbara Hathaway
Barbara Hathaway 5pts

Unless you are allergic to poison Sumac. They are directly rel.ated to that tree.

Teresa Teresa
Teresa Teresa 5pts

I have homemade cashew cream in my coffee everyday and no fat melting yet