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Cashew nuts: benefits and properties

Cashew nuts: benefits and properties
Written by Veronica Lavenia
Credits: © Ph. Veronica Lavenia

Cashew nuts are rich in benefits and properties.

Cashews are native to Brazil, although today India, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Mozambique and Indonesia are among the largest producing countries.

In recent years, the demand for cashews worldwide has considerably increased, so that cashews rank fourth in the world, after pistachios, walnuts and almonds.

Benefits and properties:

They possess beneficial fats, B vitamins, magnesium, which help reduce anxiety and act positively on mood.

Vitamin B6:

Cashews nuts benefits also affect the presence of vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 helps the absorption of serotonin into the body. Useful to improve the health of the nervous system and the brain.

Good fats:

Cashews are rich in good fats, including oleic acid (the same that is found in olive oil) useful in maintaining mood and heart health.

Cashew nuts: benefits and properties

PH. Veronica Lavenia

Tryptophane:

Cashews are an excellent source of tryptophan. It is an essential amino acid present in most plant foods, useful to our body that is not able to produce it independently. This substance is a precursor of serotonin, known as the good mood hormone. This amino acid also helps to absorb the serotonin in the brain. Tryptophan is also a precursor of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake rhythm, favoring relaxation and deeper sleep.

Magnesium:

Cashews are rich in magnesium, essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Eye benefits:

Cashews contain a powerful antioxidant pigment called Zeaxanthin. This pigment is absorbed directly by our retina and forms a protective layer on the retina that prevents harmful UV rays and protects them from external agents.

Benefits for the skin:

Cashew oil is beneficial to our skin. It is an oil rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.

Contraindications:

Cashews are rich in nickel and consumption is not recommended for those allergic to this substance.

Why and how to soak cashews:

Dried fruits should be soaked to reduce the amount of phytates. The soak also allows to increase the bioavailability of some vitamins (in particular C and those of group B) but also of carotenes and other substances beneficial for our body. The germination that takes place thanks to the soak allows to increase the quantity of proteins, mineral salts and vitamins, making the fruits even more digestible.

Cashew nuts: benefits and properties

Ph. Veronica Lavenia

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Veronica, PhD, is an Italian based food writer. Born and raised in Italy, surrounded by the thriving culture and spirit of Sicily, Veronica was a University academic before becoming a food writer. In the context of academic research, she has published essays on the Spanish-American narrative in national and international Academic Journals. As freelance journalist, she wrote about book reviews and tennis. Food was the subject she thought about most so, inspired by family recipes, and valuable Italian culinary heritage, she moved into writing her experiences and studies on the subject.
Sustainability, seasonality and selection of raw materials (as much as possible local, organic and unrefined) are the basis of Veronica’s natural food philosophy.
Cookery author, "Gluten Free Heaven" magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in "Vegetarian Living", "Veggie Magazine", "Lifestyle FOOD", "Australian Good Food & Travel Guide" and "Chickpea", among others.