About Cashew - Health Benefits

Who doesn’t know about cashew nuts? Caju is what we call them in India. We use them mostly in sweets and children love to eat them as they are. They are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for the normal functioning of the body. They are native to Brazil.  The Portuguese brought them to India in the 16th century. The kidney shaped or bean shaped nuts have many health benefits, a few of which are given below:


15 Health benefits of cashews:
Below listed are the benefits of cashew nuts.


Prevents Cancer:
Proanthocyanidins are a class of flavonols which fight against tumor cells by stopping them to divide further. These proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashew nuts help fight against cancerous cells and keeps you away from colon cancer.


Healthy Heart:
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts including almonds. Most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health by helping to reduce triglyceride levels, high levels of which are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Cashews are wonderfully cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. The magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure and prevents heart attacks.


Lowers High Blood Pressure:
Cashew nuts lower your blood pressure with the help of magnesium present in them.


Helps Hair:
Cashews are rich in the mineral copper.  An essential component of many enzymes, copper plays its part in a broad array of processes.  One copper-containing enzyme, tyrosinase, converts tyrosine to melanin, which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color.  Without the copper cashews are so abundant in, these enzymes would not be able to do their jobs.


Healthy Bones:
Cashews are particularly rich in magnesium. It`s a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but so is magnesium. Most of the magnesium in the human body is in our bones. Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as it needs. Copper found in cashews is vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elastin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints.


Healthy Nerves:
By preventing calcium from rushing into nerve cells and activating them, magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed and thereby our blood vessels and muscles too. Too little magnesium means too much calcium can gain entrance to the nerve cell, causing it to send too many messages, and leading to too much contraction.


Insufficient magnesium leads to higher blood pressure, muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness and fatigue. Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.


Prevents Gallstones:
Daily intake of cashewnut can reduce the risk of developing gallstones.  Data collected on 80,718 women from the Nurses` Health Study demonstrates that women who eat at least an ounce of nuts each week, such as cashews, have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.


Helps in Weight Loss:

Even though cashew nuts are considered as fats, it contains ‘good fats’. So contrary to popular belief, those who eat nuts twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who rarely eat nuts. This is attributable to the ideal fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively, which is recommended by scientists for tip-top health.  Cashew nuts contain less fat than most other popular nuts, including peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts. They are dense in energy and high in dietary fiber, making them a very valuable snack for managing weight gain.


Selenium, copper, magnesium etc. act as co-factors for many enzymes.


Helps 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.


Pleasant sleep:
After menopause, these cashew nuts can give you relaxed and pleasant sleep during nights.


Free Radicals:
Cashew nuts help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals which cause health problems.


Macular Degeneration:
Cashewnuts have the ability to filter Sun’s UV rays and protect us from macular degeneration.


Now that you know the health benefits of Cashew nuts, ensure that you confidently eat a few once at least every week we are sure you already love them….an ounce of nuts good for health.

* Source : http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-cashew-nuts/

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