Cashew is a type of dry fruit which is used to enhance the taste of both sweet and spicy dishes but it is not that the use of cashew is limited to just eating. Cashew has an immense capacity as it also helps in getting rid of many types of physical problems. Cashews are rich in proteins, antioxidants and minerals which keeps the body healthy for a long time. In Ayurveda also, its nutritional properties help in curing many types of diseases. Consumption of cashew provides relief in many diseases like toothache, diarrhoea, weakness, etc.
What is Cashew?
Cashew tree, like a mango tree, is always green and of medium size. Its height is about 12 m with soft branches and its leaves are like jackfruit. The flowers are small and yellow in colour with pink stripes. These flowers have a white kernel which is called cashew. The shape of cashew nuts is somewhat like a kidney which is famous as a natural vitamin pill. Cashews have amazing nutritional benefits which prove to be very beneficial for the body. Cashews are commonly used to enhance the taste of Indian dishes and sweets. The botanical name of cashew is Anacardium occidentale.
Benefits of Cashew nuts
For the digestive system-
Cashews contain a good amount of fibre. Since fibre improves digestion and relieves problems like constipation and ulcers. Therefore, eating cashews strengthens the digestive system.
Calcium is considered the most important nutrient for teeth. Since cashew is said to be a good source of calcium which helps in the development of teeth and maintaining their strength for a long time.
Antioxidants like protein and vitamin E are present in cashew which promote the health and beauty of the skin. Apart from this, the signs of ageing, wrinkles and the harmful effects of sun rays can also be avoided by the consumption of cashew nuts.
For blood pressure-
According to scientific research, a supplement made from cashew helps in reducing systolic blood pressure. Therefore, cashew is considered a good option to control blood pressure.
For heart health-
Cashews are considered in the category of those nuts which work to keep the heart healthy and benefit the body. In fact, bioactive macronutrients are found in cashew nuts which work to keep the heart healthy for a long time.
Magnesium is called a diabetic friend. Since cashew is considered a good source of magnesium which helps in stabilizing the glucose present in the blood. As a result, diabetes is controlled.
For bone development-
Cashews contain high amounts of calcium and magnesium which helps in preventing the disease of osteoporosis (weak and fragile bones) by aiding in the development of bones. Therefore, cashew is considered good for the development of bones.
Cashews contain many nutrients like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It also helps in maintaining the shine and strength of hair by aiding hair growth.
For a healthy mind-
A good amount of magnesium is found in cashew nuts. Magnesium has been shown to aid in blood flow to the brain and help prevent brain injury. In addition, magnesium also has some antidepressant properties which also help in relieving depression and stress. Therefore, cashew is considered a great remedy for a healthy mind.
Cashew nuts are a good source of copper and iron which help in carrying oxygen in the body by increasing the red blood cells. Apart from this, iron also helps in removing blood disorders like anaemia by increasing the production of red blood cells.
Many such nutrients are present in cashew nuts which are very important for a pregnant woman. The calcium and magnesium found in it help in the health of the pregnant woman and the development of the bones of the fetus. Apart from this, magnesium also helps in preventing low birth weight and increased blood pressure in pregnant women.
Anacardic acid is believed to be present in cashew extract. This anacardic acid proves helpful in preventing cancer metastasis (the process of spreading cancer in the body). Therefore, cashew is considered a good and useful remedy in the prevention of cancer.
Use of Cashew nuts
- Cashew nuts are eaten as dry fruits in kheer and halwa.
- These are also consumed directly as dry fruits.
- It is used in the form of sweets like cashew katli.
- Cashews are also used in certain vegetables like Shahi Paneer.
- Cashews are roasted in ghee, sprinkled with light salt and eaten as snacks.
Side effects of Cashew nuts
- Since cashews are high in calories, excessive consumption can lead to weight gain.
- Cashews contain a good amount of fibre. Therefore, consuming cashews in excess can cause constipation and gas problems.
- A good amount of sodium is found in cashew nuts. Therefore, excessive consumption may lead to high blood pressure, stroke and heart-related problems.
- Cashews are a rich source of potassium. Therefore, due to its excessive consumption, the heartbeat can suddenly stop and the kidney can also get damaged.