Native to South America, specifically Brazil, they are actually a seed despite being known as a nut. They are grown in countries, such as – Sri Lanka, India, Tanzania, Vietnam, Brazil, India, Nigeria, and Kenya.
Worldwide the annual production is approximately 2.1 million tons of raw nuts with an estimated value of US$ 2 billion.
These nuts are an excellent source of protein, zinc, dietary fiber, pyridoxine, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, selenium, pantothenic acid, calcium, vitamin K, iron, riboflavin, and niacin.
They contain high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein, which act as strong antioxidants in the body. When consumed through regular foods, zeaxanthin and lutein build up in the retina of the eye and the layers of the skin, improving your vision and supporting healthy skin.
In addition, lutein helps protect the oils, lipids, and fats in the skin from peroxidation as well as protect the human body from high levels of free radical damage which causes oxidative stress, potentially contributing to cell mutation, DNA damage, and cancerous tumor formation.
They are rich in copper, a trace mineral that has a crucial role in the elimination of free radicals from the human body. It also has proanthocyanidins, antioxidant compounds that have the capacity to stop the growth of certain cancer cells.
These nuts are a source of vitamin K, which works with other essential minerals (such as – calcium) to maintain bone mineral density and support bone mineralization, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Also, they are high in magnesium, an essential mineral required for the maintenance of a strong, healthy bone structure.
Complete Protein Source
In order to be considered “complete,” a food must contain all nine of these essential amino acids. Protein is one of 3 macronutrients the human body uses for energy, and it is especially important for creating new cellular compounds and rebuilding muscle tissue.
Lowers LDL Cholesterol
These nuts are high in “heart-friendly” MUFAs – monounsaturated fatty acids, such as – palmitoleic and oleic acids. These healthy fatty acids help lower LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Moreover, a regular diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids are also helpful regarding weight loss due to their impact on adipose dysfunction.
Good For Type 2 Diabetics
In the present day, about 30.3 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes mellitus (9.4 percent of the population). According to research, consuming these nuts helps in keeping blood sugar levels normal, most likely due to their high fiber content.
Soaking these nuts prior to eating enhances their nutrient absorption.
There are no known side effects.
They originated in South America with archaeological evidence showing that natives from Brazil and Peru may have been eating this food for about 3,500 years ago. In the current day, it is one of the most cultivated crops in China, African nations, India, and the US.
They are rich in vitamin E, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, manganese, riboflavin, protein, vitamin B6, selenium, potassium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, and copper.
Boosts The Immune System
They are packed with vitamin E, a group of 8 related compounds that serves the same purpose within the human body.
For instance, this vitamin helps in maintaining the integrity of cells of the skin and mucous membrane as well as enhances the immune system response, protects against cell infection and damage, sustains healthy blood flow, and reduces the risk of cancer.
May Help Save Your Memory
These legumes are frequently called “brain food” since they contain niacin (vitamin B3). The vitamin can compensate for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, an incapacity of the body to make a new molecule. Also, it boosts memory, improves brain functioning, and is involved in fetal development.
It is one of the highest plant foods regarding its antioxidant content, according to a study issued in the British Journal of Nutrition. Antioxidants, also known as “free radical scavengers,” are chemicals that neutralize free radicals, hence, preventing them from causing damage.
Free radicals are occurring byproducts of a variety of metabolic functions in the human body. In addition, we are exposed to free radicals through alcohol, pollution, heavy metals, tobacco smoke, pesticides, industrial solvents, certain medicines, such as – paracetamol, halothane, and radiation.
There are no known side effects, except the fact that some sensitive individuals can have allergic reactions, such as – rashes, hives, swelling, coughing, vomiting, dizziness, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and breathing difficulty.
They can occasionally be contaminated with a species of mold that produces aflatoxin, a toxic substance.
Cashews vs Peanuts – Which Have A Beter Nutritional profile?
Both foods have a remarkable nutrient profile, however, peanuts win this contest due to their higher content of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, niacin, and folate.
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References https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/ https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/cashews-a-better-choice-than https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28356271