Cashew nuts also known by the botanical name Anacardium Occidentale, or what the Indians call Caju, are rich sweet product of the cashew tree, which have gained popularity in North America and Europe, not only for their succulent flavour but for health benefits too. Cashew nuts are kidney or beans shaped and are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for the normal functioning of the body.
Cashews are one of those irresistibly delicious nuts that are also packed with healthy nutrients. Think of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin K, along with lesser known phytonutrients such as antioxidants, Tyrosinase, melanin, elastin, Proanthocyanidins and oleic acid; cashew nuts have them all. Each nutrient plays its part in providing bone strength and joint flexibility, discouraging migraines, improving memory, lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease and cancer.
Below are some of the health benefits of cashew nuts.
Prevents Cancer – The proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashew nuts help fight against cancerous cells thereby preventing such ailments as colon and duodenal cancers. These proanthocyanidins are a class of flavonols which fight against tumor cells by stopping them from dividing further.
Healthy Heart – Cashews contain low fat when compared to other nuts, and that too comes in the oleic acid form which is very healthy for the heart. They are cholesterol free and the antioxidants present keep you away from heart diseases.
Lowers High Blood Pressure – Cashew nuts lower your blood pressure with the help of magnesium present in them.
Helps Hair – Copper is the mineral which helps your hair get that healthy colour. So if you take cashews which are full of copper, you can get that black hair that you always wished for.
Healthy Bones – Like calcium, magnesium is also important for bone health, and it is one of the main ingredients in cashew nuts.
Healthy Nerves – Magnesium is stored on the bones surface which prevents calcium from entering the nerve cells and thus keeps the blood vessels and muscles relaxed. Insufficient amount of magnesium can lead calcium to enter the blood vessels leading them to contract. It also leads to high blood pressure, migraine headache etc.
Prevents Gall Stones – Daily intake of cashew nuts can reduce the risk of developing gall stones up to 25%. According to the Nurses’ Health Study, looking at the dietary data of 80,718 women, integrating at least one ounce of nuts a week, such as cashews, give women a 25 percent lower risk of developing gall stones.
Helps In Weight Loss – Though cashew nuts are considered as fats, they contain good cholesterol. So contrary to popular belief, those who eat cashews at least twice a week gain less weight when compared to those who eat less or do not eat at all.
Help Digestion – Cashew nuts help in growth and development, nucleic acid synthesis and digestion.
High On Vitamins – Cashew nuts are rich in vitamins like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin etc. These vitamins keep you safe from sideroblastic anemia, pellagra etc.
Healthy Gums And Teeth – As mentioned before, the magnesium content present in cashew nuts is very good for bones. So it gives healthy teeth as well as strong gums to hold them. Research has also shown that chemicals in cashew nuts kill gram positive bacteria, a pervasive mouth affliction that causes tooth decay and acne.
Free Radicals – Cashew nuts help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals which cause health problems.
Muscular Degeneration – Cashew nuts have the ability to filter sun’s UV rays and protect us from muscular degeneration.
Cashews are just plain good for you; ensure that you eat a few once every week to help boost your health.