Health benefits of nuts: Cashew nut

I got many text messages from people who wanted to know the local name of Pecan nut. At the beginning of this series, I mentioned that most of the nuts I will discuss do not belong to this clime.

Pecan is a nut from a species of hickory trees native to northern Mexico and the Southern United States, so, you cannot get a name for it in our local languages. However, you can get them to buy here.

I will discuss cashew nuts today but I want to share something with you. I saw a video of fufu making on Facebook some weeks ago and I was shocked that the cassava was just blended and thrown into the pot to make the fufu.

Cassava must go through fermentation to reduce its cyanide content before it is safe for consumption. I shared this with my mother and she told me something more shocking.

She said one of her friends bought already made fufu and that everyone who ate it farted! Another person bought readymade fufu and it turned black overnight.

Definitely, something must have been added during the preparation. If you love eating fufu, try to buy cassava and make it at home. This is not limited to fufu. You can make your gaari, cassava flour, yam flour and more at home.

Cashews come from a tropical tree known as Anacardium occidentale.

They are good for you as they are a powerhouse of proteins and essential minerals including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Sodium is also present in small quantities. It also contains vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.

They are a source of oleic acid and provide a good quantity of monounsaturated fat and low amounts of polyunsaturated fats with no total cholesterol content when consumed in moderation.

A particular scientific study

evaluated the effects of cashew nut consumption on reflex development, memory and profile of fatty acids of rat offspring treated during pregnancy and lactation.

So it is good for pregnant women. The oil from the nut is an edible cooking oil and considered a high quality cooking oil. Cashew flour, also known as cashew meal, is a powdery substance made of ground cashews.

Some of the benefits of Cashew nuts

Makes muscles and nerves healthier: Cashews are a good source of magnesium vital for the healthy development of bones, muscles and tissues.

Magnesium helps maintain blood pressure, boost immunity, maintain nerve function and keep the bones strong. It also may be involved in metabolic functions and help regulate blood sugar levels. A deficiency of magnesium can alter the metabolism of calcium.

Keeps the heart healthy: Cashews are known to be a good source of healthy dietary fats essential for our body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K) and produce fatty acids that are vital for the development of the brain and blood clotting.

These healthy fats include monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).They are good for the heart and help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) if consumed in appropriate amounts even in diabetics.

LDL cholesterol can rise as a result of excessive consumption of saturated fats, posing a major threat to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Studies have demonstrated that choosing unsaturated fats over saturated fats enhances the levels of HDL cholesterol, reduces triglyceride levels and beneficially lowers blood pressure as well. The inclusion of nuts such as cashews in the diet can provide these healthy unsaturated fats to the body.

Prevents gallstones: Gallstones are stone-like deposits that usually consist of cholesterol which accumulates in the gallbladder. Risk factors include age, weight and any gastrointestinal issues. Regular inclusion of healthy nuts such as cashews can help lower the risk of the formation of gallstones.

Boosts immune system: Cashews contain zinc which plays a vital role in the strengthening of the immune system. It can be extremely important during pregnancy for the growth of the baby and the developmental years of childhood.

Boosts bone and oral health: Cashews provide phosphorus which can be essential for the healthy development of teeth and bones. Phosphorus may also aid in protein synthesis, absorption of carbohydrates and fats and the maintenance of cellular health.

Good for eye health: Cashews contain zeaxanthin and lutein that are antioxidants which protect from UV rays. The antioxidant pigments naturally occur in the eyes and are an essential defence against damaging light and may reduce the risks of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

  • Promotes formation of RBC
  • Aids in managing diabetes
  • Scientific studies



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