Cashew nuts have been one of my favorite tree nuts to eat for a delicious snack. Not only are they tasty, but they have many health benefits which I found surprising.
The cashew nut is native to Brazil where its considered a delicacy. In the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced them to India and some African countries, where they are now also grown. Cashews are rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and zinc. They are also good sources of phytochemicals, antioxidants and protein.
Cashew nuts are harvested with careful processing practices which are crucial to avoid contamination because of the caustic resin within the cashew shell. This is the reason why cashew nuts are ALWAYS sold pre-shelled.
Here are the health benefits of cashews:
1. Cancer Prevention: Cashews are ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanol that actually starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing.
2. Heart Health: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. They are cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. The magnesium in cashews helps to lower blood pressure, preventing heart attacks.
3. Weight Loss: Cashew nuts contain less fat than most other popular nuts, including peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts. They are dense in energy and high in dietary fiber, making them a superb snack for managing weight loss.
4. Bacterial Fighter: The most fascinating aspects of cashews is their ability to destroy gram-positive bacteria. The bacteria responsible for acne, tooth decay, tuberculosis, pneumonia and leprosy have met their match with of all things, the cashew nut! The anacardic acid present within cashews is an extremely effective bactericide, which will kill gram-positive bacteria within 15 minutes.
Eating more cashews will help you lower the risk of disease-related death by 20%, will eliminate gram-positive bacteria in your body, and help you to lose weight!
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