The cashew fruit (a.k.a. cashew apple) is one of the very few fruits with seeds on the outside of the fruit. It has a very strong, intense and unique odor that can be detected even in perspiration and urination.
The fruit is soft with a “fragile” skin, therefore, it is not widely distributed but the nuts are removed instead and sold commercially. Cashew fruit tastes somewhat sweetish-pungent/astringent.
If you ever do come across a cashew fruit, never try to remove the nut from the fruit as it has a chemical “Urushiol” that can cause minor irritation/rash to the skin. The laborious cleaning process makes cashew nuts to be one of the most expensive of all nuts.
Cashew nuts have a distinct taste that make them a favorite snack for between meals. While these nuts taste great, they are also incredibly nutritious. They are a good source of protein, have a low-glycemic index, and contain copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to start eating cashew nuts, followed by three healthy recipes that include cashew nuts as one of the primary ingredients.
1. Good Source Of Monounsaturated Fats
You need some fats in your diet to promote proper brain function and muscle development and growth. Cashew nuts are a good source of healthy fat—monounsaturated fats. Even by eating cashew nuts as snacks, will ensure you are receiving healthy fats while allowing you to avoid unhealthy saturated fat.
2. Protect Your Heart
Eating cashew nuts can help protect your heart, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Cashew nuts contain antioxidants that can help promote blood circulation and cardiovascular health. Studies show that eating cashew nuts on a regular basis can reduce your risk of death from heart disease by up to 20 percent.
3. Get Your Dose Of Copper
Cashew nuts are one of the best sources of copper, which is useful for fighting free radicals that attack your skin and bone tissue. When you suffer from a copper deficiency, you are at a higher risk of developing anemia, joint problems, osteoporosis, and higher levels of bad cholesterol.
4. Promote Healthy Bones
In addition to providing you with all the copper that you need, cashew nuts also provide calcium and magnesium. Both of these minerals are needed for strong, healthy bones. Making sure that you have a good balance of magnesium and calcium can help regulate nerve and muscle tone, while not having enough magnesium can lead to higher blood pressure.
5. Prevent Weight Gain
Eating cashew nuts is able to improve your cardiovascular health, which is the cornerstone of the health of your body. By improving cardiovascular health, you should find it easier to boost your metabolism, strengthen your immune system, and deal with digestive issues. These benefits should help you prevent weight gain or even lose weight.
Along with directly helping you maintain your weight, by snacking on cashew nuts between meals you can curb sugar cravings and avoid bingeing on sugary foods.
3 Healthy Cashew Nut Recipes
Now that you are aware of some of the health benefits of eating cashew nuts, you should consider making the following recipes so that you can add more of these nuts in your diet. Each of these recipes was chosen for their inclusion of healthy ingredients.
1. Add Cashew Nuts in Smoothies And Salad
One of the easiest ways to eat cashew nuts is to add them in your smoothies for the extra boost of quality protein. You can just put a handful in any smoothies or make this easy smoothie recipe that I like:
1 cup of cashew nuts
1 half-frozen banana
1 cup of kefir
½ cup of water
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of cinnamon powder
Raw honey to taste, if desired
Also add a sprinkle of cashew nuts in any salad you make, and enjoy it’s soft crunchiness and the nutrients it provides.
2. Curried Cashew Nuts
Curried cashew nuts are a spicy, crunchy snack that adds a little more flavor to the creamy nut. The nuts are tossed in a mixture of lemon juice, curry powder, and fine Himalayan salt, before roasting in the oven at 300F for about 15 minutes.
3. Simple Cashew Nut Sauce
Cashew nut sauce can be used for soups, salads, and any other meal that requires a sauce. It has a thick, creamy texture with a hint of garlic shining through. Prepare your own cashew nut sauce by processing the following in a blender, to a smooth desired texture:
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 cups of cashew nuts
A sprinkle of ground black pepper
A pinch of Himalayan salt.
Cashew nuts can be a nutritious snack or one part of a healthy meal. Try the recipes listed or look for other ways to include cashews in your diet.