Roasted Cashew nuts is a local snack that is loved and eaten by most Nigerians; these nuts are highly nutritious; they have a sweet and salty taste with butter flavor.
Many people just eat them because of the good taste but they are ignorant of the nutritional benefits they bestow on the body; cashew nuts are one of the best tasting nuts and they are also used in naturopathy to treat some diseases.
There are many ways to eat cashew nuts; in Nigeria it is usually roasted while other cultures have their unique way of eating it. Some make cashew butter and this is a good alternative to peanut butter while some make cashew flour and use it in baking and making pancakes, cookies, biscuits, muffins, ice creams and many other delicacies.
Some Important Benefits of Cashew Nuts
In South Africa, they use the nuts of cashews in making soups. There is also cashew milk. There are many ways people benefit from the rich nutrient contents of these nuts and below are ten health benefits of Cashew nuts.
Cashew nuts are power house of nutrients; they are rich in minerals especially iron, selenium, zinc magnesium, copper and phosphorous. The nuts are also rich vitamins; they have a rich content of vitamin E, K and B6. They have rich content of antioxidants, and phytochemicals which all keep the body healthy and running smoothly. Also a good sources of energy; they are rich in thiamine which helps the body to convert foods into energy. Studies have linked a deficiency in thiamine to lack of energy, weaknesses, tiredness, body pains and memory loss.
Boost the Immune System
Cashew nuts are rich in Zinc which helps the immune system to function well and effectively. The immune system is the defense system of the body that helps the body fights against germs and diseases. It helps wounds to heal quickly and hasten recovery from illnesses; zinc also benefits pregnant women, it helps the fetus develop properly and boosts the immune system of the pregnant woman.
Support Brain Health
Cashew nuts support a healthy brain and boost its functions; they are rich in fatty acids which are healthy for the brain. These healthy fatty acids help the brain to regulate mood and support cognitive functions. They also prevent brain problems related to aging thereby boosting healthy aging. Cashew nuts improve the cognitive functions of the brain and help multiple brain processes by aiding in the regulation of neurotransmitter pathways; they also aid the fluidity of the membranes and support synaptic transmission.
Many studies have linked the deficiency of these fatty acids to mood problems and mental disorders like ADHD, dementia, dyslexia, anxiety and depression. They also improve the circulation of blood to the brain; they also contain good amount of phytosterols, all these help to prevent migraines and headaches and reduce their frequencies and duration.
Protect the Skin
These nuts protect the skin and keep it healthy; they are rich in copper which helps in the production of collagen (the protein which is used in making new skin cells and connective tissues) and melanin (which is the compound responsible for the colour of the skin). Collagen prevents rapid aging and boosts the elasticity of the skin; the healthy fats contained in these nuts keeps the skin hydrated and moisturized, they prevent skin dryness and flaking of the skin.
Cashew nuts are powerhouse of powerful nutrients and antioxidants that can help the body fight off cancer and other chronic diseases. They have high contents of powerful antioxidants like cardols, cardanols, and anacardic acids which fights cancers and tumors and prevent them from growing and spreading. They even help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments and they help the patients cope with cancer treatments.
Studies have proved the effectiveness of cashew nuts against colon, liver and prostate cancer.
They reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood stream; excess cholesterol can form stones and accumulate in the gallbladder. This conditions causes lots of pains and discomforts; when these nuts are eaten regularly, they will help to reduce the levels of cholesterol and dissolve existing gallstones.
Maintaining Healthy Bones and Eyes
These nuts are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium; all these vital minerals help to strengthen the bone and prevent bone problems like osteoporosis and demineralization of the bones. They are also rich in vitamin K which helps to strengthen the bone, maintain the mineral density of the bone and guard against bone fractures.
These nuts are rich in zeaxanthine and lutein; these powerful antioxidants protect the eyes from damages and harmful rays of light which can lead to blindness. They prevent rapid aging of the eyes and prevent the formation of cataracts; they also prevent other diseases of the eyes and sharpen vision. Taking these nuts regularly will give your eyesight a good boost and prevent eye problems.
Aid Weight Loss
These nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats; these help in reducing excess body weight, reducing the levels of cholesterol in the body and they make one feel full thereby regulating the number of times one eat and this will help to control weight. Thy also reduce the risk of chronic diseases that comes with weight gain and obesity; diseases like diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Protect the Heart
Cashew nuts can prevent or reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases; they reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol) while raising the levels of good cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol). They can effectively reduce blood pressure and boost the functions of the heart.
Keep the Blood Clean and Healthy
These nuts are rich in iron which helps in the proper formation of new red blood cells; they also contain good amount of copper which helps in eliminating free radicals from the blood and body. Taking these nuts regularly will help you to cleanse your blood; it also helps in treating and preventing blood diseases like anemia.
They also increase the levels of healthy red blood cells due to their rich content of copper and iron; these minerals help the body in the formation of new erythrocytes. Due to these abilities of theirs in improving the production of healthy red blood cells; they can be used to treat anemia. The iron contained in this seeds is used in making new red blood cells and hemoglobin; anemia occurs when there are insufficient levels of red blood cells in the blood and reduced amount of hemoglobin.
Taking lots of these nuts will help increase the levels of iron which will boost the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin thereby combating anemia and other blood diseases.