Have you tried adding a little of roasted cashews to your rice? That’s really tasty, I love that! Cashews (the fruit of Anacardium occidentale) originate from Brazil. In 1558, the Portuguese land explorers brought the cashew tree seeds to South Africa, and since those times this plant has been cultivated in 32 countries: from Brazil to India and Vietnam. Not many of us know that a fruit of the cashew tree has both fleshy juicy apple (cashew apple) and a bean known as cashew nut. Since the cashew apples are quite difficult to be stored and transported, it is almost impossible to find them in the markets or stores of the US and Europe. However, in India people drink cashew apple juice just as we enjoy orange or apple juice. Cashew nuts have the shells filled with a poisonous liquid, that is why before they are delivered to our tables, they should be removed from the shells and processed.

Cashews have matchless nutritional value and 100 g of this food contain 18 g proteins, 30 g carbohydrate, 23 g starch, 6 g sugars, 5 g water, as well as 600 mg phosphorus, 660 mg potassium,  300 mg magnesium, 37 mg calcium, 19 mg selenium, 12 mg sodium, 7 mg iron, 6 mg zinc, 2 mg copper and 1.5 mg manganese. Other nutrients that can be found in cashews include niacin, carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, Vitamin B12, tochopherols, Vitamins K and E, and a great variety of amino acids. Cashews have lower fat content in comparison with other nuts. At the same time, they are quite a caloric food (553 calories per 100 g) that is why it is not recommended to eat great amounts of cashews.

Just like all nuts, cashews are supposed to be very useful for heart. The British specialists point on high content of antioxidants and very strong cardio-protective properties of this food (according to the British Journal of Nutrition). As cashews contain copper, they can assist in producing energy and help to prevent such problems as osteoporosis, arthritis, ruptured blood vessels and so on. Calcium and magnesium are also necessary minerals for lowering the risks of suffering from migraines, problems related with blood pressure and seep disorders. Also, cashews are an excellent natural remedy for maintaining proper levels of good cholesterol. Finally, there was a scientific evidence found to support the fact that regular consumption of small amounts of cashews can help people avoid weight gain (a study published in the journal Obesity). To benefit from all these positive effects of cashews, it can be enough to eat a palmful of these nuts 3-4 times a week.

It is interesting that in different cultures cashews are used in different ways and for different therapeutic purposes. For example, the Brazilians use cashews as an aphrodisiac and a unique natural remedy for such diseases as asthma, flu, bronchitis, diabetes or diarrhea, in Haiti it is used for treating toothache, in Mexico it is used for improving skin, in Panama it is considered to be a good remedy for hypertension, the people of Peru use cashews for their antiseptic properties, in Venecuela it helps to combat throat inflammation, in Africa it is used as an relaxant and a material for making tattoos, etc. Scientific researches confirmed numerous curative properties of cashews, including antibacterial, antiseptic, tonic and many more. Undoubtedly, there are just a few plants which can be as much useful and therapeutic as our favorite cashews.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

One Response to “Cashews, a Miracle from Brazil”

  1. t g rajuNo Gravatar Says:

    somebody told me that the cashew apple juice is good for reducing high blood pressure . is this fact correct?

    please send the reply to this