Fondly called Kaju in India, cashew nuts are actually seeds found on the base of the fruit of the cashew tree. Native to Brazil, cashews found were introduced to our country by Portuguese explorers and today, we are one of the leading producers of cashews.
Cashew nuts are among the favourites in dry fruits and are consumed in a variety of ways right from munching on them raw, roasted, salted and caramelized, to using them in food preparations like rich gravies and mithais.
There is a myth that cashews lead to weight gain and hence, must be avoided. Because of this, we fight our temptations. But you can now go ahead and munch on a handful of these nuts right away since studies have shown us that they come with a host of benefits, and might actually help keep weight off.
To know more about how cashews can help you lose weight, click here.
High in taste and flavor, cashews are also high in nutrition since they contain significant amounts of copper, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and other good food value, thus making their consumption beneficial in the following ways:
- Maintains Blood Pressure
Cashews are high in potassium and magnesium, and low in sodium, thereby allowing the body to retain more water and improving blood circulation, thereby regulating blood pressure levels.
- Promotes Heart Health
Cashews have zero cholesterol and the least amount of fut among the nut family. Even the fats that it does contain are mostly of the healthy unsaturated and monounsaturated kinds. Thus, a few cashews a day can help keep a check on your triglyceride levels and keep your heart healthy.
- Prevents Cancer
Cashews are known to be effective antioxidants as they contain Vitamin E and selenium, helping the body to eliminate harmful waste and neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. The high copper content in them especially helps fight colon cancer.
- Prevents Gallstones
Studies show that consuming one ounce of cashews a week can help reduce the risk of developing gallstones by almost 25%.
- Keeps Your Bones and Nerves Healthy
Magnesium, which is one of the main nutrients present in cashew nuts, plays an important role in your body’s health. It is essential for maintaining your bones and teeth, and helps keep them strong and healthy. Magnesium also aids your nervous system by preventing calcium in the body from interacting with the nerve cells, ensuring proper functioning of the nerves and muscles and preventing high blood pressure levels and headaches due to blockages.
- Aids Weight Loss
While most of us curb our cravings for cashew nuts since they are supposed to cause weight gain, this is not true. While cashews do contain fats, these are of the healthy kind and actually useful and essential for the body to function optimally. Studies show that eating a few cashews a day not just helps you reduce weight, but also helps keep those kilos off.
Cashews also have other benefits like preventing anemia due to their rich vitamin content, nourishing your hair and making it lustrous due to the copper in them, reducing the severity of asthma attacks through its magnesium content, and detoxifying your body and helping it function smoothly. They also aid the digestion process, and promote enzyme activity, and boost brain activity and keep your hormonal levels balanced. Deficiency of copper can have negative impacts on your system, and regular consumption of cashews can help avoid these.
While cashews are excellent for you, they must be eaten in moderation – about 30 cashews a week is the recommended amount to gain all of the above benefits. These nuts are a good substitute for junk food and should ideally be eaten in small batches. So what are you waiting for, go grab a few cashew nuts and munch away. Snacking was never this tasty or healthy!
Read more about cashews, their uses and benefits here.