If you are searching for a snack which is both tasty and nutrition packed then look no further than the cashew nut, the fruit of the cashew tree. Cashew nuts are not only eaten as a snack but used extensively in Chinese, Thai and Indian cooking. Cashew nuts have enough health benefits to warrant more than the few lines to be sung in their praise here, but are cashews fattening or can they help in weight loss? Let's start by looking at the health benefits of cashews.
cashew, (Anacardium occidentale), evergreen shrub or tree of the sumac family (Anacardiaceae), cultivated for its characteristically curved edible seeds, which are commonly called cashew “nuts” though they are not true nuts. The domesticated cashew tree is native to the New World but commercially cultivated mainly in Brazil and India. The seeds, rich in oil and distinctively flavoured, are commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisine and are a characteristic ingredient of numerous chicken and vegetarian dishes of southern India. In Western countries they are eaten mainly as a premium-quality protein-rich snack food.
The cashew is native to northeastern Brazil. Portuguese missionaries took it to East Africa and India during the late 16th century, where it became abundant at low altitudes near the seacoast. The tree produces wood that is useful in local economies for such practical items as shipping crates, boats, and charcoal as well as for a gum that is similar to gum arabic. The resin within the shells of the fruit is used as an insecticide and in the production of plastics; it also is important in traditional medicines. The cashew apple is used locally in beverages, jams, and jellies, though most cultivation is directed toward production of the valuable seed crop. Parts of the cashew must be handled with care by susceptible individuals because it is related to poison ivy and poison sumac and can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
The cashew apples are picked by hand, and the curved fruits are first detached and then sun-dried. In some localities the dried fruits are roasted amid burning logs, where the heat causes the outer shells to burst open and release the caustic resin. The resin quickly catches fire, giving off fumes that can be injurious to the eyes and skin. In improved methods of roasting, the poisonous properties are dispelled in roasting cylinders. Later the inner shells are broken open by hand and the kernels heated to remove the seed coat. The wild cashew, or espavé (Anacardium excelsum), is a closely related tree that grows in Central and South America.
Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts
It it hard to believe that so much goodness can be crammed into so small a food source but cashews, along with almost every other nut, have a whole list of things going for them from a nutritional and health point of view.
along with all other nuts, cashews are a rich protein source. Protein is an essential dietary requirement for maintaining performance and energy levels, bolstering our immune system to keep disease and illness at bay and for building new cells and repairing tissue.
cashews also provide our bodies with digestible fiber which is necessary for maintaining bowel and intestinal health and ensuring these systems work to their optimum. Fiber also plays a part in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels by regulating the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed. This process is helpful for anyone on a weight restriction diet as fiber foods make you feel full for longer.
a ¼ cup or 34 gram serving of cashew nuts will provide more than 10% of our recommended daily intake of vitamin B1 or Thiamine and vitamin B6. Cashew nuts also contain vitamin C but in very low levels.
essential as part of a health promoting diet to maintain many of our physiological functions.Cashew nuts are particularly high in copper, giving us 38% of our recommended daily dietary intake in one serving of 34 grams. Copper plays a part in utilizing iron, the maintenance of healthy bone and soft tissue and for melanin production, our skins natural protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Copper is also a necessary part of the process which produces collagen and elastin and it has been suggested therefore that cashews have anti-aging properties. Cashews are also high in magnesium, which plays a part in reducing blood pressure, reducing asthma severity and preventing muscle cramps and fatigue Phosphorus, in high levels, as well as zinc, potassium, iron and calcium are also present.
this is one of the essential amino acids which the body can only source through dietary intake. Tryptophan is essential in the production of the hormone serotonin which is responsible for positive mood enhancement, good memory function, stress relief and healthy sleep.
cashews are one of the highest carriers of antioxidants amongst all the plant food sources. Anti-oxidants play a significant role in maintaining heart health along with helping to maintain many other bodily processes.
Are Cashews Fattening?
As previously mentioned, nuts are often avoided by those trying to lose weight but recent studies have shown that the fears of nuts contributing to weight gain are unfounded. Findings from these studies show that individuals who eat nuts at least four times a week, compared to those who ate no nuts or very few, were 31% less likely to gain weight. Additionally, the fibre content in cashews makes them a good choice for anyone looking to lose weight as they satiate appetites for longer. There are 196 calories in a 34 gram serving of cashews.
Healthy Fats in Cashews are Not Fattening!
Many nuts are avoided by those on weight loss diets as they assume nuts are fattening. However, most of the fat contained within cashew nuts is the heart disease fighting, cholesterol lowering, healthy type of fat - mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated - and cashews are less fattening than most other types of nuts. Of the overall fat content of cashews, 54% is of the mono-unsaturated variety, 18% of the polyunsaturated variety and only 16% of the ‘bad' fat or saturated variety. Much of the healthy fat is oleic acid, the same substance found in olive oil.
It is recommended by nutritionists and medical professionals that anyone with a history of kidney or gallbladder problems avoid cashew nuts and it probably goes without saying that all the information contained here refers to unsalted and unsweetened cashew nuts.
MANI CASHEW SNACKS
Mani cashew snacks are made of top quality material and are great sources of energy due to the amount of starch stored in theses nuts. You can review more information about cashew snacks and buy them online from the link below.