Food Facts - Nuts

  Cashews

 Nuts

Cashews are very nutritious and a powerhouse of proteins and essential minerals including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. They are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for the normal functioning of the body. Cashews contain vitamins such as C, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B-6, folate, E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K (phylloquinone). Cashews are a source of oleic acid and provide a good quantity of monounsaturated fat and low amounts of polyunsaturated fats with no harmful cholesterol, if consumed appropriately.

1. Monounsaturated Fats for the Heart :
Cashews are a good source of healthy dietary fats, which are essential for our body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and produce fatty acids that are vital for the development of the brain and blood clotting. These healthy fats include Monounsaturated fats or MUFA and polyunsaturated fats or PUFA. They are good for the heart and help to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) if consumed in appropriate quantities, even in individuals with diabetes.

2. Healthy Muscles and Nerves :
Cashews are good source of magnesium, which is vital for the healthy development of bones, muscles, tissues, and organs of the body. Magnesium helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, sustain the immune system, maintain nerve function, and keep the bones strong. It also is involved in metabolic functions, influences the insulin activity and regulates the blood sugar levels of the body. A deficiency of magnesium alters the metabolism of calcium and the hormones responsible for its regulation.

3. Lowering Blood Pressure :
Being a rich source of magnesium cashew nuts help in lowering blood pressure.

4. Diabetes :
The presence of very low amounts of sugar and no harmful cholesterol in cashews makes them safe for diabetic patients. It even helps in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

5. Pevents Cancer :
Proanthocyanidins are a class of flavonols which fight against tumor cells by stopping them to divide further. These proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashew nuts help fight against cancerous cells .This is one of the major cashew nut benefits.

6. Red Blood Cells :
Cashews are rich in copper, which helps in the metabolism of iron, aids in the formation of red blood cells and helps in keeping bones and the immune system healthy. It is also vital for the nervous and skeletal system of the body. A deficiency of copper in the body may result in osteoporosis, irregular heartbeats, and anemia.

7. Healthy Bones and Teeth :
Cashews also provide phosphorous, which is essential for the healthy development of teeth and bones. Phosphorous also aids in protein synthesis, absorption of carbohydrates and fats and the maintenance of cellular health.

8. Gallstones :
Gallstones are stone-like deposits that usually consist of cholesterol that accumulates in the gall bladder. The regular inclusion of healthy nuts like cashews can help to lower the risk of formation of gallstones.

9. Immune System :
Cashews contain zinc, which plays a vital role in the strengthening of the immune system against microbial infections, protein synthesis and the healing of wounds. It is extremely important during pregnancy for the growth of the baby and the developmental years of childhood to maintain a stable state of the body.

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