Cashew nuts – where do they come from?
Cashew nuts are in fact the kidney-shaped seeds that stick to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is innate to Brazil. Cashew apples are only appreciated in Brazil and the Caribbean. WE always buy Cashews shelled because the shells contains a caustic resin, cashew balm, which must be completely removed before the nuts are ready to eat. This resin is used to make varnishes and insecticides.
Roasting the cashews destroys the toxins, but roasting must be preformed carefully outdoors because the smoke can irritate the lungs, sometimes to a life- threatening degree.
Cashew nuts – Health Benefits
Heart-Protective Monounsaturated Fats
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and 80% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. To top that, 66% of this unsaturated fatty acid content are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil.
Enjoying cashews is a good idea, also for persons with diabetes.
Cashew nuts – Antioxidant, Energy Production, Bones and Blood Vessels
Cashews contain copper.
Copper plays a role in iron utilization and elimination of free radicals, growth of bone and connective tissue, and production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin. Copper is an essential component of the enzyme which is important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Copper leps flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints. Lack of copper may also be associated with colon cancer.
Cashew nuts – Bone Up and Relax
Cashews contain Magnesium.
We know that calcium is vital for strong bones, but so is magnesium. Magnesium balances calcium and helps regulate nerve and muscle tone. It serves as a calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from activating the nerve. Magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed.
Insufficient magnesium can add to high blood pressure, muscle spasms and cramps, migraine headaches and fatigue. Magnesium promotes normal sleep patterns in menopausal women and reduces the severity of asthma.
Cashew nuts – Lower Risk of Weight Gain
Many avoid nuts for fear of weight gain. Studies have shown that people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.
Practical Tip: Don’t let concerns about gaining weight prevent you from enjoying the delicious taste and many health benefits of Cashew nuts!
Sprinkle a handful of nuts over your morning cereal, lunchtime salad, dinner’s steamed vegetables. Or just enjoy a handful of lightly roasted Cashew nuts as a healthy snack.
Eat nuts for your health!