Cashews: Properties and Benefits

The cashew plant, scientific name Anacardium occidentale, is native to Brazil and belongs to the family Anacardiaceae; the plant is small and on average reaches a height of about 8 meters.

The cashew plant produces two fruits: the first, also called cashew apple, from botanical point of view is not a real fruit, as is nothing more than an extension of the zoomed pedicle. Its appearance is that of a small pepper or a small apple, with colors ranging from red to yellow to green.

The real fruit is represented by the cashew nut, a kind of walnut with a hard coating, inside which is an oil seed. The cashew nuts contains an irritating oil, if it breaks the semen is hopelessly contaminated it, and therefore it is no longer edible. The seed must then be worked; the irritant oil is eliminated by means of a complicated procedure that uses heat.

Cashews: Properties and benefits
Cashews are made for 5.2 % of water, for the 43.80 % fat, 18.2 % protein, 23.50 % starch, 3.3 % from dietary fiber, sugars and ash.

These are the minerals present in cashews: potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iron.

With regard to the vitamins cashews contain some B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6), vitamin K and, in small percentage, vitamin C and E.
Cashews contain the following amino acids: glutamic acid, aspartic acid, cystine, arginine, alanine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, proline, serine, tyrosine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, histidine, glycine and phenylalanine.

Benefits and Curative Properties of Cashews

According to a study conducted at the University of Montreal (Canada) and the University of Yaoundé (Cameroon) cashews would be in possession of properties that can be beneficial in people with type 2 diabetes. In fact cashews would be able to help cells muscle to absorb sugars.

The oleic acid content in cashew has beneficial properties against cardiovascular while copper contrasts joint problems.

The magnesium in cashews has beneficial properties in the regulation of blood pressure and cholesterol and also beneficial to the bones. Magnesium is also helpful for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Cashews also contain a good amount of iron, which is very important for the health of our body; especially counteracts the activity of free radicals.
Cashews Curiosity
The name Anacardium derives from the Greek word kardia, which means heart, just to indicate the shape of the fruit that is reminiscent of the heart.

The cashew shell resin contains an irritant that is used to produce paints and insecticides.

Cashew nuts should be stored in a tightly sealed tin, because if they are left to air rancid very quickly.

Cashews contain a substance with antioxidant properties, the Zeaxanthin, able to bring benefits to the eyes, strengthening them.

In recent years the flavors of ice cream have multiplied, cashew is one of the newest ice cream flavor.

A substance that is used to produce an indelible ink is extracted from the shell of the cashews.

From cashew apple juice is extracted from a refreshing drink that comes after a short period of fermentation.

Cashews have a fairly high cost due to the proceeding in which it must undergo in order to become edible.

From the seed of the cashew nuts is extracted an oil that is similar to the organoleptic characteristics of almond oil.

In India, from cashew flowers, is prepared a liquor with a very strong taste and with tonic properties.

Using Cashews
In Italy, the cashew fruit is a little known and little used but ut is widely used in Asian cuisine (in Thailand and China is the famous chicken with cashew nuts). Cashew nuts can be eaten in several ways: roasted and salted as a snack, in the form of cream as peanut butter, or added to a variety of dishes such as salads, rice and lean meats.

Also excellent when used for the preparation of sweets such as cakes and biscuits.
Cashews: Properties and benefits
Cashews: Properties and benefits
Chemical Composition
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Every 100 grams of cashews you have 553 kcal.
The recommended daily dose is 30 grams of cashew nuts.
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