Used for medicinal purposes, cashew can benefit the health of the body as a whole, preventing disease, contributing to heart health, delaying the natural aging of the skin and improving the appearance of hair.
This can all be explained by the numerous nutrients in its composition. Fruit is abundant in calcium, iron, protein, fibre and vitamins, to name a few.
Next, learn about the advantages of consuming it and learn healthy recipes to taste this national delicacy in different versions.
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6 Cashew health benefits
Cashew is rich in several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium, copper and several others, which brings the fruit a series of benefits for the body. Check out some of them below.
1. Strengthens the immune system
Cashews are a significant source of vitamin C. To get an idea of the richness of this nutrient in its composition, the fruit has five times more vitamin C than the orange, which is often mentioned as a reference in this regard.
Thanks to this vitamin, the fruit has antioxidant properties that prevent oxidative damage to immune cells and help produce new immune cells, including T lymphocytes, thus strengthening the body’s defence.
In addition, the presence of vitamins K and E also favours this scenario: the first accelerates the blood clotting process and the second acts directly on the immune response.
2. Contributes to heart health
Consuming cashew nuts helps to reduce triglyceride levels and, consequently, reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. The fruit also contains arginine, an amino acid that prevents the narrowing of the arteries, and magnesium, which fights hypertension.
In addition to this are the properties of vitamin E, well known for being a powerful antioxidant. It acts against free radicals present in the body, preventing them from damaging healthy cells, including cardiovascular ones. This vitamin can reduce the risk of death from a heart problem by about 35%.
A Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) study showed that cashew is an excellent ally for combating and controlling high blood pressure. According to the study, the fruit has a substance called exudate, which is used by the pharmaceutical industry to treat hypertensive people.
Also, the fat content of cashew nuts is shallow, another point contributing to heart health.
3. Prevents cancer
Cashews can help fight and prevent cancer, including being one of the foods INCA recommends (National Cancer Institute).
This is due to the action of flavonoids, such as lycopene and beta-carotene, which reduce oxidative stress. Cancer is nothing more than chronic oxidation (degradation) of cells. Therefore, these compounds are essential for treating and preventing the disease.
Other antioxidants are essential in this prevention, especially vitamins C and E.
4. Strengthens hair and improves skin
According to medical nutritionist Isolda Prado, copper in cashew is one of the main factors responsible for this benefit.
That’s because it’s part of many enzymes like tyrosinase, which convert tyrosine to melanin, the pigment that helps your hair and skin’s health. Our body does not produce this mineral, which is essential for proper functioning.
In addition, it also has vitamin E, which is very important in protecting against solar UV rays and preventing burns and their consequences. You may have also noticed that this vitamin is very present in dermatological products, not by chance. It acts directly to improve inflammatory processes and reduce the formation of wrinkles. It also treats skin irritations and itchiness, in addition to moisturizing and alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis.
5. Slows down aging
The antioxidants in cashews work against aging, protecting cells and contributing to the production of collagen, which helps “bypass” the aging reflexes.
Vitamin K, for example, contributes to better coagulation and healing, including preventing possible skin blemishes. Phosphorus helps strengthen bones and teeth, preventing common symptoms with advancing age, and B-complex vitamins support the neurological system.
6. Lose weight
Having a low caloric index already makes cashew an excellent ally for weight loss and healthy life in general. Added to this, it manages to control blood glucose levels and stimulate fat burning.
|100 Gram serving||Amount per serving|
|Energetic value||43 Kcal|
|C vitamin||219,3 mg|
* Daily reference values based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from TACO, revised and expanded edition.
Does cashew nut help you lose weight?
The brown cashew is an incredible ally of weight loss, avoiding weight gain. People who eat this nut at least twice a week are less likely to get fat!
According to the neurologist, the fruit also has a meagre percentage of fat and is rich in fibre, which helps regulate the intestine for good digestion, an essential point for those who want to lose weight in good health.
In addition, the proteins in nuts contribute to the feeling of satiety; that is, they can help reduce food consumption in general, controlling calorie intake.
Cashew pulp can be used in a variety of ways. Fresh can be used in salads but can also be the raw material for juices, ice cream and desserts. The most consumed is, without a doubt, sweets. Check out some practical and healthy recipes below:
Healthy cashew sweet
Do you want to enjoy the benefits of cashews while following your diet and not go hungry when that craving for sweets arises? Then this is an excellent solution for you!
- 1 kg of cashews
- Three tablespoons of sweetener for oven and stove
- 400 ml of water
- 300 ml of cashew juice.
Squeeze the cashews and reserve the extracted juice. Place all recipe ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook over low heat for 1 hour. After that time, dessert will be ready.
Cashew juice with coconut water
To make the juice, washing the fruit well, cutting it into pieces, and removing the chestnut is essential. Then, blend in a blender with 600ml of coconut water and ice to taste until you get a homogeneous consistency.
Salad with cashew
The ideal way to prepare this salad is half chopped cashew nuts and two oranges, with green leaves, combining the preparation with chopped cherries and onions. Season with a honey-based sauce: half a tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of white vinegar, two tablespoons of orange juice, and one canola oil and salt to taste.
Cashew Popsicle with Ginger
- 2 cups of concentrated cashew juice (undiluted)
- Two tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup sugar.
Ingredients for syrup
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1/3 cup sugar.
Prepare the syrup, bringing the sugar and water to a boil. Let it cook until it becomes transparent. Then mix the other ingredients of the recipe and add to the syrup. Pour into popsicle moulds, place the toothpick and freeze for 6 hours.
Care and contraindications
Anyone can consume cashew; the only restriction is in case of any allergy. However, it is necessary to take some care because excess fruit can cause constipation. People with diabetes must also pay attention; cashew is rich in sugar.
Curiosities about cashew
Cashew is a well-known fruit consumed in Brazil, produced mainly in the Northeast.
The cashew tree, or cashew tree ( Anacardium occidentale), is of Brazilian origin. During Portuguese domination, chestnuts were taken to some regions of Africa and Asia, where they adapted, and production continues to this day.
As tropical temperatures are typical, cashew trees can withstand droughts and temperatures up to 35°C. And its fruits can take up to 3 years to sprout.
Did you know that cashew fruit is chestnut? That’s right! The peduncle is called a pseudofruit by biology.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.