Cashew are popularly referred to as caju in India. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body. In fact they belong to Brazil, but the Portuguese brought them to India in the 16th century.
These kidney or bean shaped nuts have many health benefits, some of which are presented below:
1. Prevents cancer: Proanthocyanidins are a class of flavonoids that fight against tumor cells by preventing them from dividing further. These proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashews help fight against cancer cells and keep you away from colon cancer. This is one of the main benefits of cashews.
2. Cardiovascular Health: Cashews have a low fat content compared to other nuts and in the form of oleic acid which is very healthy for the heart. They are cholesterol-free and the antioxidants present keep you away from heart disease.
3. Decreases blood pressure: cashews lower your blood pressure with the magnesium they contain.
4. Helps hair: Copper is the mineral that helps your hair to have that color. So if you eat cashews that contain a lot of copper, you could have the beautiful black hair you dreamed of.
5. Bone Health: Just like calcium, magnesium is also important for bone health which is the main component of cashews.
6. Nerve health: Magnesium is stored on the surface of the bones which prevents calcium from entering the nerve cells and thus keeps the blood vessels and muscles relaxed. An inadequate level of magnesium can cause calcium to enter the blood vessels leading to contraction. The insufficient level of magnesium also causes high blood pressure, migraines etc.
7. Prevents gallstones: Regular consumption of cashews can reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
8. Contributes to weight loss: Although cashews are considered fat, they contain good cholesterol. Thus, contrary to popular belief, those who eat cashews at least twice a week take less weight compared to those who consume less.
9. Antioxidants: selenium, copper, magnesium, etc. act as cofactors for many enzymes.
10. Help with digestion: cashews help the growth and development of nucleic acid synthesis and digestion.
11. Vitamin-rich: cashews are rich in vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamine, niacin, etc. These vitamins protect you from sideroblastic anemia, pellagra, etc.
12. Healthy gums and teeth: As mentioned earlier, the magnesium content found in cashews is very good for bones. So the teeth and gums are strengthened.
13. Pleasant sleep: After menopause, these cashews can give you a relaxed and pleasant sleep during the night.
14. Free radicals: cashews help our body to use iron properly and eliminate free radicals that cause health problems.
15. Macular degeneration: cashews can filter UV rays from the sun and protect against macular degeneration.