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Cashews, known scientifically as Anacardium occidentale, belong to the same family as the mango and pistachio nut.
The cashew tree has always been a prized resource owing to its precious wood, cashew balm and cashew apple, but the cashew nut itself did not gain popularity until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, the leading commercial producers of cashews are India, Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Health benefits of cashew nuts
(1) Keep your heart healthy: Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue.
(2) Make your body stronger: They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning.
(3) Keep Blood Pressure under control: These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check.
(4) Reduced risk of cancer: Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity.
(5) Important for body functions: Their high copper content plays an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production, brain function, etc. Copper is also needed for the production of red blood cells to prevent anaemia.
(6)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.
(7)Prevents Gallstones: Daily intake of cashew nut can reduce the risk of developing gallstones (devil) up to 25%.
(8) Helps in Weight Loss: Even though cashew nuts are considered as fats, it contains 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.
(9) Anti-oxidants: Selenium, copper, magnesium etc. act as co-factors for many enzymes.
(10) Helps Digestion: Cashew nuts help in growth and development, nucleic acid synthesis and digestion
(11) 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
(12) 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.
(13) Pleasant sleep: After menopause, these cashew nuts can give you relaxed and pleasant sleep during nights.
(14) Eliminate health problems: Cashew nuts help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals which cause health problems.
(15) Cashews are high in calories: 100 g of nuts provide 553 calories. They are packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous health-promoting phyto-chemicals that help protect us from diseases and cancers.