The cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is also known as cashew, cashew, cashew nut, cashew, or casual—a delicious fruit with different nutritional benefits for our health.
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What is cashew?
The cashews (cashews), also known as cashews, cashew nut, cashew nut, cashew, or casual, is a tropical fruit. The most used part of this fruit is its seed, known as cashew.
Nuts are foods with high nutritional value and are beneficial for our health. In this case, the cashew is one of them. For this reason, cashew is directly related to weight loss, valid for the circulatory system or promoting blood sugar control.
Origin of the cashew
It is a tree native to the south of Venezuela and the northeast of Brazil; its original name in Brazilian Portuguese is cajun. However, it is more common in some Central American countries where its name is usually Pepa or Merey. Its consumption is typical in countries such as Cuba or Colombia.
It is also known as ” the fruit of memory “because among all its benefits is helping brain functions.
The Portuguese colonizers brought the seeds to India and Mozambique in 1568, and from there, it was introduced into Southwest Asia, reaching Africa in the second half of the 16th century. The United States made the first seed imports from India in 1905.
Main cashew producers
The leading global cashew producers, along with peanuts, walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts, are Vietnam, India, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Brazil and Indonesia.
On the other hand, if we only count the cashew, the most significant world producer has been Brazil, its place of origin, although, at present, India seems to have surpassed it in terms of the volume of exports. Although this fruit is produced in Cuba or Colombia, it is also imported from other producing countries.
At the beginning of the nineties, there began to be an increase in cashew exports, becoming today one of the nuts with the highest demand in the world.
The fruit in question has two parts: the pseudo fruit and the nut. The first is fleshy with a somewhat acidic flavour; the second is a grayish-coloured dry seed that is the most widely consumed and known.
We can certainly verify that it is kidney-shaped, known as cashew, and is one of the most widely consumed nuts today.
How do you eat the cashew?
Due to its properties, all parts of this semi-acidic fruit are used in different areas, from preparing sweets and cosmetics to creating medicines to treat other diseases.
Cashew is widely used in confectionery. In addition, it has many healthy food properties, and it is highly recommended to be able to add this fruit to our diet.
Moreover, the pseudo fruit part is used to make jams, sweet preserves, sweet preserves, dried merely, dried merely, jellies, jellies, wine, vinegar, and juices and is consumed as fresh fruit.
This fruit is used to make different sweets. It is also used for the production of cosmetics as well as for the pharmaceutical industry.
The best-known and most consumed part in Europe is the seeds; it should be noted that they contain large amounts of vitamin C. In countries such as Cuba or Colombia, its consumption is also widespread thanks to the well-known medicinal benefits of this fruit.
How do you eat the cashew?
Cashew is the name by which we commonly know the cashew seed, which we classify as a dried fruit.
For decades, the food industry has processed this food in large quantities. Still, before these industrial processes existed, eating these fruits was done traditionally, separating the seed from the pseudo fruit.
First, once separated, it is moistened and heated to loosen the shell. Finally, they are beaten with a mortar to separate the seed from the body.
Once dry, it can be used in different recipes. We can eat it as an ingredient in sweets, atole, soda and nut butter. In addition, it is roasted and can be added salt to make it more tasty. Even so, always add salt in moderation.
Its components produce various products, such as sweets, cosmetics and medicines. In Cuba and Colombia, there are a variety of recipes that incorporate this fruit.
Properties of cashew
Cashew ( Anacardium occidentale) has excellent medicinal and nutritional properties.
We can also find vitamins B1 and B2, E, calcium and magnesium. The cashew, consumed like many nuts, has many antioxidants, vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, copper and iron. Also, it has no cholesterol.
Regarding the cashew seed, as a category of nuts, in its 100 grams of product, it contains only 5% water. In addition, it has approximately 20% vegetable protein and around 50 grams of unsaturated oils.
Also, cashews are rich in unsaturated fats related to being favourable to heart disease.
Average nutritional value per 100 grams of cashew
Benefits of cashew
The cashew is an ideal dried fruit to add to our diet. However, we must remember that consuming them in excess can have the opposite effect.
Usually, when we eat them, they are high in oils and salt. We always recommend eating them roasted without salt or raw and in a responsible quantity.
Among its benefits, we can highlight the following:
1. Help with weight loss diets
The fibre in cashew seeds ( Anacardium occidentale ) provides satiety that helps us with weight loss diets and helps us maintain an ideal weight.
It also has fibre that provides us with energy and accelerates metabolism, improving the digestive process.
Nuts, such as macadamia nuts, have always been thought to be very caloric. However, recent research shows they do not provide as many calories as thought.
In addition, they also provide other nutrients, such as proteins and fibres, that are satiating and help us not to snack between meals.
It is recommended to eat it toasted since, in this way; it is easier for the body to assimilate. Therefore it is more digestible.
2. Antioxidant capacity
Its antioxidants help fight free radicals. They are favourable to delaying aging. Its antioxidant capacity helps us reduce inflammation and is suitable for keeping the body free of diseases.
Like other nuts, such as walnuts, it is recommended to promote the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Likewise, the antioxidant capacity in the toasted fruit placed on top of the raw fruit stands out.
For this reason, it is advisable to eat the roasted cashew.
3. Favorable for controlling hypertension
They are an excellent source of magnesium, which helps us control blood pressure and avoid muscle spasms, especially for those who regularly practice sports. In addition, magnesium helps us against fatigue and migraines.
4. Helps reduce bad cholesterol
The cashew seed ( Anacardium occidentale ) has monounsaturated fatty acids, specifically oleic acid, responsible for controlling harmful cholesterol levels.
On the other hand, diets rich in these foods have been shown to promote heart health. They also prevent clogging of the arteries and help reduce triglycerides and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
5. May be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes
Thanks to its nutritional properties, cashews can benefit those with type 2 diabetes.
Although not many studies on this, consuming cashews can favour blood sugar levels. It is partly because this nut is rich in fibre that helps regulate blood sugar.
Therefore, it is likely that adding cashews to our diet, helping to replace other foods rich in carbohydrates and sugar, is favourable for type 2 diabetes.
6. They favour memory
As mentioned, this dried fruit is also known as memory fruit. Its nutritional composition makes it a good food for maintaining a good memory. Therefore, cashews are highly recommended for students, people with stress, or when there is a high intellectual demand.
Phosphorus is found in this food in large quantities. In addition, with 100g of cashews, we manage to cover almost 90% of the recommended daily amount of this mineral.
Similarly, cashews also provide a lot of tryptophan and magnesium. In synergy with phosphorus, this dried fruit helps with the proper functioning of the brain and all its connections, which helps improve attention and reaction capacity. Therefore, they are ideal to include in our diet to increase memory.
Finally, we can say the cashew thanks to their beneficial properties. Likewise, including it in our diet and other fruits and vegetables will always be a success. In addition, cashew is ideal for eating between meals or as ingredients in different recipes.
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.