Cashew plant, with the scientific name of Anacardium occidentale, can grow as high as 14 meters or 46 feet. However, the dwarf cashew can grow up to 6 meters or 20 feet. The seed is called the cashew and it can be used in various meals or processed into cashew butter or cashew cheese. Along with its culinary uses, cashew is also packed with several health benefits.
Cashew is packed with various minerals. According to Nutrition and You, cashew contains manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium, potassium, iron, and zinc. As per the publication, selenium acts as a co-factor for antioxidant enzyms like Glutathione peroxidases, which is known as one of the most potent antioxidants in the body. Also, Copper serves as a co-factor for numerous enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase and cytochrome c-oxidase. Moreover, zinc functions as a co-factor to several enzymes responsible for growth and development, digestion, DNA (nucleic acid) synthesis, as well as reproductive function. As per maganesium, Mercola noted that it can help prevet atherosclerosis, hypertension, and myocardian infarction.
Along with the aforementioned minerals, cashew is also packed with vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and pantothenic acid. It is added that consuming cashew nuts a day would allow provision of such vitamins and minerals; thus, it also prevents diseases related to mineral deficiency.
Body Cleansing and Anti-Cancer
Due to its antioxidant properties, cashew is regarded as one of the food choices that can eliminate toxic substances from the body. According to Style Craze, cashew nuts aids the body eliminate free radicals that lead to various health problems. With such ability, cashew can aid the liver in the detoxifying process, which means the organ’s workload will be lessened. In addition, cashew also contains flavonols called proanthocyadins, which can deal with tumor cells by preventing their growth and development. Thus, including cashew nuts to one’s diet will prevent the risk of cancer development.
Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Health
Cashew helps a person lose weight; thus, the risk of developing heart disease is also reduced. According to a research conducted in Harvard, as cited by AHA Journals, it was found that consuming two servings of nuts allowed participants to combat diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. As per the publication, it was found that increased consumption of seeds, whole grains, coffee, and nuts, which include cashew, is linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and risk factors like high blood pressure and serum cholesterol.
Along with the reduction of high blood pressure and serum levels of blood cholesterol, research also revealed that eating nuts like cashews provide arginine, which promotes the health and function of the arterial walls, as per Healthline. This means prevention of fat accumulation in the arterial walls; thus, it prevents conditions like atherosclerosis, which leads to increased blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
Cashew and chocolate are often used together in a recipe; thus, Cashew Chocolate Pie is the sample. As per Whole Foods Market, the ingredients include two cups of cashews, one-fourth teaspoon of salt, one-eight teaspoon of ground nutmeg, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, four teaspoons or melted butter, three eggs, half cup of brown sugar, three-fourth cup of rice syrup or corn syrup, pie shell, and one-fourth pound bittersweet chocolate (preferably Belgian).
To prepare, chocolate is melted in a microwave. Then, brush it inside the pie crust. Next, eggs, sugar, vanilla, butter, salt, nutmeg, and syrup are whisked together. After that, cashews are stirred in and poured into piecrust. Then, it is baked for about 55 minutes or until the center becomes thick. Once done, the pie is transferred to a rack and is set aside to cool completely.
Overall, cashew is packed with nutrients and various health benefits. Thus, its inclusion to several dishes is logical as it can help promote a person’s overall health.