What are Cashews?
Cashews are nutritionally dense nuts.They belong to the family of Anacardiaceae, which includes mangoes and pistachios. Cashews are originally native to the coastal areas of north-eastern Brazil. They are kidney-shaped seeds widely cultivated in places that have tropical climates. Cashews are typically grown in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Tanzania. The nuts are found at the bottom of the fruit known as a cashew apple, and have diverse uses, particularly in Brazil, Asia, and Africa.
Cashews Nutrition Facts
Cashews are good for you as they are a powerhouse of proteins and essential minerals, including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.Sodium is also present in very small quantities. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cashews also contain vitamin C, B- vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin), folate, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), and vitamin K (phylloquinone). They are a source of oleic acid and provide a good quantity of fat and low amounts of fats with no total cholesterol content when consumed in moderation.
Health Benefits of Cashews
The health benefits of cashews are incredible! Here are just a few of the reasons why you should add them to your diet:
Prevent Heart Diseases
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. These healthy fats include monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).They are good for the heart and help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) if consumed in appropriate amounts, even in diabetics.
LDL cholesterol can rise as a result of excessive consumption of saturated fats, posing a major threat to people suffering fromdiseases like atherosclerosis (aka hardening of arteries). Studies have demonstrated that choosing unsaturated fats over saturated fats enhances the levels of HDL cholesterol, reduces triglyceride levels, and beneficially lowers the as well. The inclusion of nuts such as cashews, fish, and vegetable oils like olive oil and canola oil in the diet can provide these healthy unsaturated fats to the body.