Cashew HEALTH BENEFITS & FACTS
Cashew nuts are actually the seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. No matter what they are, there’s simply no denying that they’re pretty darn delicious. In fact, cashews are America’s favorite nut, with 31 percent of people naming it their top choice!
While they may taste rich, cashews actually have a lower fat content compared to most other nuts. Furthermore, most of the fat they do contain is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Like all plant-based foods, cashews are cholesterol-free, and their high antioxidant content helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases.
Not only do cashews have a rich, decadent taste, but they’re also packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. For example, Cashews are particularly rich in magnesium.
It's a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is just as important. Most of the magnesium in the human body is in our bones. Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as it’s needed. The magnesium in cashews also helps lower blood pressure and can help prevent heart attacks. Cashews are also rich in copper, a mineral which is vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elastin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints. One copper-containing enzyme helps create melanin, which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color. The high copper content in cashews also helps to eliminate dangerous free radicals.
Cashews are great sources of heart healthy phytochemicals and antioxidants that help protect the body from cancer. Ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that can prevent tumor growth and stop cancer cells from dividing, cashews are clearly a deliciously healthy choice!