Cashew nuts are kidney-shaped nuts that are jam-packed with nutrients that eating a handful of them completes your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals not commonly found in other foods. Likewise, eating a handful of these nuts, at least four times a week, decreases your risk in getting cardiovascular problems; eating the same quantity once a week prevents gall stone formation.
Cashew nuts are indigent in Brazil but have gained popularity all over the world. They are readily available at local markets and grocery stores at any time and season. Although they are more expensive than other nuts, their health benefits are worth every penny. They are known not only for their unique flavor and texture but for their amazing nutritional benefits. Let’s take a look at some of these nutritional benefits:Monounsaturated Fats
Compared to other nuts, cashew nuts contain lower fats and most of these fats are monounsaturated fats or the “good fats.” Oleic acid, the same unsaturated fat found in olive oils, is one of the monounsaturated fats found in cashew nuts. These good fats promote good cardiovascular health by reducing triglyceride levels in the blood.
Cashew nuts contain antioxidants that neutralize unstable free radicals that can cause cancer and other degenerative diseases. These antioxidants also maintain the cardiovascular system by preventing the formation of cholesterol plaques in the arteries.
Significant amount of copper is found in the enzymes of cashew nuts. This essential mineral is needed in numerous physiological processes like proper iron utilization, bone and connective tissue development, melanin production, energy production, and immune defense.
Cashew nuts contain an ample amount of magnesium. This mineral is essential for bone development and maintenance of calcium balance in nerves and muscles. It also serves as a natural calcium channel blocker, controlling the activity of calcium to prevent excessive muscular contraction. It protects the body against high blood pressure, migraines, muscle spasms, muscle soreness, and fatigue. Moreover, it normalizes sleeping patterns in menopausal women.
Selenium is also present in cashew nuts. It is a crucial micro-nutrient that acts as a key component for various antioxidant enzymes.
Cashew nuts also contain zinc, an important mineral needed for growth and development, sperm development, nucleic acid synthesis, and normal digestive functions.
Essential vitamins (vitamins that the body cannot produce) such as vitamins B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin) and B1 (thiamin) are also present. These are necessary for efficient carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism in our body.
Cashew nuts contain antimicrobial enzymes that kill gram positive bacteria which cause tooth decay, gum disease, acne, tuberculosis, and leprosy.
Cashew nuts are truly nutritious! They can be eaten between meals or can certainly be added to salads and other viands. Whether raw, roasted, salted, sugar-coated, or chocolate-covered, cashew nuts will always be a mouth-watering snack to everybody. Try cashew nuts now and enjoy their amazing health benefits.