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Cashew nuts are one of those nuts which give a butter-like taste upon consumption. In India, cashew nuts mixed with a sprinkle of black salt are eaten as a snack. Cashews are nutrient-dense nuts that provide a lot of health benefits.
Cashew nuts have a sweet flavour and a soft consistency. They are versatile nuts because they can be eaten in both raw, roasted, salted or unsalted form.
The nuts are used to make other dairy alternatives like cashew milk, sour cream, cashew-based cheese and cream sauces.
The parts of the cashew plant that are used for medicinal and industrial uses
are as follows:
- Cashew bark and leaf - They are used for the treatment of diarrhoea, aches and pain. Cashew leaf extract is used to lower blood sugar and the bark is used to treat mouth ulcers.
- Cashew nut shell liquid - It has medicinal and antibiotic properties and is used in the treatment of leprosy, warts, scurvy, sore teeth, and ringworm.
- Cashew seed and stem - Cashew seed oil is widely used for curing cracked heels. The gum extracted from the cashew stem is used as a varnish for books and wood.
- Cashew fruit (cashew apple) - It possesses antibacterial properties and is effective in treating gastritis and stomach ulcers. The juice extracted from cashew fruit is used in the treatment of scurvy.
Nutritional Value Of Cashew Nuts
100 grams of raw cashew nuts have 5.20 g water, 553 kcal energy and they also contain
- 18.22 g protein
- 43.85 g fat
- 30.19 g carbohydrate
- 3.3 g fibre
- 5.91 g sugar
- 37 mg calcium
- 6.68 mg iron
- 292 mg magnesium
- 593 mg phosphorus
- 660 mg potassium
- 12 mg sodium
- 5.78 mg zinc
- 0.5 mg vitamin C
- 0.423 mg thiamine
- 0.058 mg riboflavin
- 1.062 mg niacin
- 0.417 mg vitamin B6
- 25 mcg folate
- 0.90 mg vitamin E
- 34.1 mcg vitamin K
Health Benefits Of Cashew Nuts
1. Aid in weight management
According to a study, women who rarely consumed nuts had a greater incidence of weight gain than women who consumed nuts two or more times a week  . Another study found that eating nuts could help you maintain a healthy weight, because they keep your stomach full and contribute to the production of heat in the body. This increases metabolism  .
2. Promote heart health
Cashew nuts are packed full of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats which help decrease bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol. This lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and coronary heart disease. These nuts are also a rich source of magnesium which relaxes the heart muscles and reduce the risk of high blood pressure  .
3. Improve bone health
The magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and vitamin K present in cashews are essential for the healthy development of bones and teeth. Magnesium plays a major role in bone formation because it assists with the assimilation of calcium in the bones. This lowers the risk of osteoporosis  .
4. Reduce diabetes risk
Cashew nuts are considered good for diabetic patients. A study showed that parts of the cashew nut plant have antidiabetic properties and cashew seed extract has been linked to insulin resistance and glucose tolerance  .
5. Prevent cancer
Consumption of tree nuts including cashew nuts lowers the risk of cancer. Because they are a good source of antioxidants like tocopherols, anacardic acids, cardanols, cardols and certain phenolic compounds which are stored in the shells of cashews. These antioxidants protect the body's cells from free radical damage that causes oxidative stress, which leads to cell mutation, DNA damage and cancerous tumour formation  .
6. Support brain function
Cashew nuts are rich in healthy fats that support healthy brain function and multiple brain processes by regulating neurotransmitter pathways, synaptic transmission and membrane fluidity. A study shows that higher nuts intake is linked to better overall cognition in older women  .
7. Prevent gallstones
Gallstones form in the gallbladder due to excess cholesterol and the regular consumption of cashews is said to lower the risk of gallstones formation. According to a study, increased nut consumption reduces the risk of cholecystectomy in women  .
8. Increase the production of red blood cells
Cashew nuts have a considerable amount of iron which is vital for the formation of red blood cells (RBCs) and lower the risk of anaemia. Iron is also required to keep the nerves, blood vessels and the immune system functioning properly.
9. Enhance eye health
Cashew nuts are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, both these compounds prevent cellular damage to the eyes caused by free radicals, which leads to eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts  .
10. Help maintain healthy skin
Cashews are a good source of healthy fats which are essential to keep the skin healthy and prevent premature ageing. The antioxidant vitamins found in the nuts support skin elasticity.
Note: If you are allergic to nuts you should avoid eating cashews, as they contain potent allergens that cause reactions which can be severe and life-threatening.
Ways To Add Cashews Into Your Diet
- You can make home-made nuts trail mix with a mixture of cashews and other nuts.
- Add cashews into your green or chicken salad.
- Make your own cashew nut butter by blending cashews until smooth.
- Use chopped cashews to garnish main dishes like fish, chicken, and desserts.
- If you are allergic to milk, opt for cashew milk.
- You can use cashew paste to thicken curries, meat stew, and soup.
Cashew Nuts Recipes
Cashew milk recipe 
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 cups coconut water or filtered water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2-3 dates (optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla (optional)
- Soak the cashews in water for four hours or overnight.
- Drain the water and combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
- The cashew milk is ready. Consume it within 3 to 5 days.
Cashew butter 
- 2 cups cashew nuts
- Sesame oil as needed
- Sea salt to taste
- Dates (optional)
- In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth consistency.
You can also try this kaju halwa recipe
-  Bes-Rastrollo, M., Wedick, N. M., Martinez-Gonzalez, M. A., Li, T. Y., Sampson, L., & Hu, F. B. (2009). Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women.The American journal of clinical nutrition,89(6), 1913-1919.
-  de Souza, R., Schincaglia, R. M., Pimentel, G. D., & Mota, J. F. (2017). Nuts and Human Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review.Nutrients,9(12), 1311.
-  Mohan, V., Gayathri, R., Jaacks, L. M., Lakshmipriya, N., Anjana, R. M., Spiegelman, D., ... & Gopinath, V. (2018). Cashew nut consumption increases HDL cholesterol and reduces systolic blood pressure in Asian Indians with Type 2 diabetes: A 12-week randomized controlled trial.The Journal of nutrition,148(1), 63-69.
-  Price, C. T., Langford, J. R., & Liporace, F. A. (2012). Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability in the Average North American Diet.The open orthopaedics journal,6, 143-149.
-  Tedong, L., Madiraju, P., Martineau, L. C., Vallerand, D., Arnason, J. T., Desire, D. D., ... & Haddad, P. S. (2010). Hydro‐ethanolic extract of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) nut and its principal compound, anacardic acid, stimulate glucose uptake in C2C12 muscle cells.Molecular nutrition & food research,54(12), 1753-1762.
-  Teerasripreecha, D., Phuwapraisirisan, P., Puthong, S., Kimura, K., Okuyama, M., Mori, H., … Chanchao, C. (2012). In vitro antiproliferative/cytotoxic activity on cancer cell lines of a cardanol and a cardol enriched from Thai Apis mellifera propolis.BMC complementary and alternative medicine,12, 27.
-  O'Brien, J., Okereke, O., Devore, E., Rosner, B., Breteler, M., & Grodstein, F. (2014). Long-term intake of nuts in relation to cognitive function in older women.The journal of nutrition, health & aging,18(5), 496-502.
-  Tsai, C. J., Leitzmann, M. F., Hu, F. B., Willett, W. C., & Giovannucci, E. L. (2004). Frequent nut consumption and decreased risk of cholecystectomy in women.The American journal of clinical nutrition,80(1), 76-81.
-  Trox, J., Vadivel, V., Vetter, W., Stuetz, W., Scherbaum, V., Gola, U., ... & Biesalski, H. K. (2010). Bioactive compounds in cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L.) kernels: effect of different shelling methods.Journal of agricultural and food chemistry,58(9), 5341-5346.
-  Cashew Milk Recipe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/recipe/cashew-milk/
-  Cashew Butter Recipe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/recipe/cashew-butter/