Health Facts About Cashews

cashew nutsI usually eat only a few select nuts and seeds and cashews never made the list, but today I include cashews in the list of nuts and seeds I eat.

I avoided cashews, mainly because I was afraid of eating too much fat, but the cashew is lower in fat than most nuts.

I added cashews to my diet after preparing the egg-less egg salad.

I did a little research on cashews and discovered that I should include them in my diet.

I am glad I tried the egg-less egg salad because it opened my eyes to the goodness of the cashew, a nut that I once avoided.

Today, I share with information about the cashew.

The Cashew

Cashew nuts are seeds that stick to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree.

The scientific name of the cashew nut is Anacardium occidentale.  Cashews belong to the same family as mango and pistachio nut.

Cashew nuts have a sweet, buttery, and creamy texture.  It is a versatile nut in the culinary world.

Brief History of the Cashew

Cashews are native to coastal Brazil.  Portuguese explorers took cashew trees from Brazil and introduced them to other tropical areas.

The leading producers of cashew nuts are Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

Health Facts About Cashews

The cashew:

  • helps in cancer prevention
  • is lower in fat content than most other nuts and is cholesterol free, and 65 percent of the fat is unsaturated fatty acids (heart healthy)
  • is rich in magnesium which is good for nerves
  • helps prevent gall stones
  • aids in weight loss, because it is high in energy and dietary fiber
  • helps with hair and skin health and is rich in copper
  • is a powerful diuretic
  • is a good source of potassium
  • is rich in essential minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc and selenium)
  • is high in calories (100 g = 553 calories)
  • is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals
  • is rich in pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin, thiamin (vitamin B1).

Ways to Use the Cashew

  • Snacks
  • Milks
  • Cereals
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Salad toppings
  • Raw vegan recipes
  • Desserts

Warning
Cashews may cause allergic reactions in individuals who are allergic to tree nuts. Cashew nuts have a measurable amount of oxalates.

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

8 Enlightened Replies

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  1. vin says:

    Great post and very informative! Cashew is one of my favorite nuts but I never knew it had this much healthy benefits inside it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Natty Girl says:

    I like to use cashews blended with water as a base for dairy-free sauces. You can sweeten the cashew cream with cinnamon and dates for naturally sweet desserts or make it savory by adding different herbs and spices for dressings, dips, and sauces.

  3. Aqiyl Aniys says:

    I like cashews a lot but I do minimize them in my diet. Cashews in their natural state are toxic, containing the allergenic oil urushiol. They have to be properly roasted to destroy the toxin, and some argue that they shouldn’t be eaten. Cashews also contain a high amount of starch compared to other nuts, and I limit my starch intake. Cashews also have an extremely high omega6 to omega3 content making the inflammatory. Almonds also have an extremely high omega6 to omega3 content, but in studies almonds have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory affect on the body because of the synergy of its vitamin E and phytonutrients. I am writing an article on cashews and it should be available soon.

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