Cashew nuts are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and have been used as natural medicine for quite a long time. They grow in hot and humid climates, primarily in countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique and Brazil, which are the biggest producers of cashew nuts in the world.
5 health benefits of cashew nuts
Full of calories
Cashew nuts have 275 calories per 5 gr., and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber and phytochemicals.
Great for the heart
These nuts contain palmitoleic and oleic acid which are great for your heart health. They are essential fatty acids which can reduce your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and increase the levels of the “good” (HDL) cholesterol. The Mediterranean diet which contains cashew nuts is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that can protect you from coronary artery disease and stroke.
Rich in essential minerals
Cashew nuts contain magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium and iron, important minerals that are needed for your body to function properly. Consuming just a handful of cashew nuts every day will satisfy your needs for these minerals.
Rich in essential vitamins
Cashew nuts contain a rich amount of vitamin B5 and B6, as well as vitamin B11 and riboflavin. Just 100 gr. of the nuts daily will provide about 30% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6, which reduces the risk of homocystinuria and sideroblastic anemia.
Rich in antioxidants
Besides the important vitamins and minerals, the nuts also contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant important for your vision. Zeaxanthin is absorbed into the retinal macula of the eyes and has UV-ray filtering features while also protecting your eyes from age-related macular degeneration.
Cashew nuts are a great natural remedy against depression
Cashew nuts are rich in tryptophan, an important amino acid that our bodies need. This amino acid is vital for the proper child development and can improve our sleep while reducing anxiety, nervousness and depression. Just 2 handfuls of cashew nuts daily contain about 1500 gr. of tryptophan which is more than the amount present in popular antidepressants. Of course, treating depression with cashew nuts is better as it doesn’t have any side-effects, although no one from the pharmaceutical industry will admit it.
People with nut allergies should avoid cashew nuts as they can cause severe allergic reactions even in a small quantity.