From strong bones to gorgeous hair, cashews are proven to be rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for overall body health and wellness.
Centuries ago when nomads had no idea how to consume the fruit, the ‘nut’ was discarded while the fruit was given more importance. In a book written by SP Malhotra, World Edible Nuts Economy, points out, “Natives also knew of many medicinal uses for the apple juice, bark and caustic seed oil that were later exploited by the Europeans.”
Contrary to the popular belief that it can make you gain fat, a considerable amount of cashews in your diet can provide you with many health benefits such as:
- Heart Health – Studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Cashews help lower LDL and increase the carrying capacity for HDL. HDL is responsible to absorb the cholesterol from the heart and take it to the liver where it can be broken down.
In 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration had stated that a fistful of nuts a day as part of a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Prevents Blood Disease – The consumption of cashews on a regular basis and limited manner may help in avoiding blood diseases. Cashew nuts are rich in copper, which plays an important role in the elimination of free radicals from the body. Copper deficiency can lead to iron deficiencies such as anemia. Hence our diet should contain recommended quantity of copper. And cashew nuts are a good source.
- Protects the Eye – In the urban environment matched with its excessive pollution, our eyes often suffer from various infections. Cashews contain a powerful antioxidant pigment called Zea Xanthin. This pigment is readily and directly absorbed by our retina. This then forms a protective layer over our retina which prevents the harmful UV rays. Studies show that small quantities of Zea Xanthin helps prevent age related macular degeneration in the elderly and hence helps maintain eye health.
- Good for the Skin – Cashew oil does wonders for your skin,” says Gargi Sharma, Manager Weight Management Expert. It is rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Also, they are great sources of phytochemicals, proteins and antioxidants. The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but “helps prevent cancer as well,”
- Weight Loss – In comparison to diets excluding the intake of nuts, people consuming nuts on a moderate and regular basis lose weight faster. Based on the evidence from epidemiological and controlled clinical studies, nut consumption is not associated with higher body weight. With respect to clinical studies, the evidence is nearly uniform that the inclusion of nuts in the diet leads to little or no weight gain. Moreover, nuts like cashews are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to giving a boost to the metabolic process to burn excess fat. Nuts are a great snack for those who are looking to lose weight as they are nutritious and tend to keep you full for a longer time.
- Source of Dietary Fibres – According to studies, cashew nuts have a great percentage of dietary fibers. The two essential dietary fibres required by the body are, oleic acid and palmitic acid. These fibres are not produced by the body hence they need to be consumed externally. Cashew nuts are good sources of these fibers. Dietary fibers help digest food better. Consumption of cashews has been related to decreased incidences of several digestive diseases
- Healthy And Shiny Hair – Experts say that the consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. The copper present in cashew nut oil helps in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin. It also enhances hair colour and can provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.