Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts (Kaju)

Cashew nuts, also known as tree nuts or Kaju are the seeds of the Anacardium occidentale tree. They are small, kidney-shaped nuts, soft in consistency with a sweet flavor. Offering immense health benefits, they are used to enhance the taste, thicken gravies, and as a garnish to several dishes.


Nutritional facts of Cashew Nuts

Cashews are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fibre, and plant protein. They also contain adequate amounts of magnesium, copper, and manganese. They are a rich source of polyphenols and carotenoids. Cashews are low in sugar. 

As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 1 ounce of raw cashews, weighing 28 grams, contains 157 calories, 0.9 gm of fiber, 1.68 gm of sugar, 8.56 gm of carbohydrates, 5.17 gm of protein, 12.43 gm of fats, 10 mg of calcium, 1.64 mg of zinc, 1.89 mg of iron, 83 mg of magnesium, 3 mg of sodium, 168 mg of phosphorus, 187 mg of potassium, 0.3 mg of vitamin E, 9.5 mcg of vitamin K, 0.1 mg of vitamin B6, and 7 µg of folate.


Potential Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts…

1/6. Protects the eyes

1. The zeaxanthin and lutein content of cashew forms a protective layer over the retina which hinders the harmful ultra-violet rays thus, protecting the eyes from macular degeneration. 

2. The high amounts of lutein and various other antioxidants present in Kaju helps protect the eyes from getting damaged and maintain healthy eyesight.


2/6. Good for the Skin

1. The high amounts of antioxidants, iron, copper, selenium, and magnesium present in cashew nuts are beneficial in maintaining skin health.

2. The antioxidants repair the damaged tissues and help in enhancing skin health and appearance. They also decrease the signs of aging.

3. The copper content enhances the production of collagen and elastin. Collagen helps in increasing the elasticity of the skin thus, making the skin glow and appear radiant.


3/6. Reduces the risk of anaemia

1. Cashew nuts contain a high source of minerals such as, iron and copper which are vital for the adequate functioning of the circulatory system. 

2. Cashew nuts have been a rich source of iron, reduces the risk of anaemia.


4/6. Promotes bone health

1. The high content of proteins, copper, and magnesium present in cashews helps in promoting bone health. 

2. The copper content helps in synthesizing collagen and thus, keeps the joints flexible. It also maintains bone mineral density.

3. Copper along with magnesium helps in the formation of bones.

4. The copper, manganese, and calcium content of cashew nuts prevent and manages osteoporosis.  

5. The vitamin K content of cashew along with the calcium content keeps the bones in shape and provides them with adequate mineralization.


5/6. Prevents cancer

1. The antioxidant compounds of cashew nuts such as cardols, anacardic acid, and cardanols help lower the risk of cancer.

2. The inositol and anacardic acid content of cashew nuts fight cancer and accelerate the chances of survival by producing cell cycle arrest, cancer cell death, and preventing cell proliferation and metastasis.

3. The proanthocyanidin content of Kaju arrests the growth of tumor cells. Copper and proanthocyanidin content prevent cancer.


6/6. Other possible benefits…

Kaju produces numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as decreases risk of cardiovascular diseases, boosts the immune system, promotes optimal blood circulation, lowers the risk of gallstones formation, helps in weight loss.

Also help decrease incidences of digestive diseases, ensures healthy hair, enhances hair colour, promotes healthy brain function,reduces the risk of diabetes, protects against unpleasant headaches, maintains healthy gums and neutralise bacteria in the oral cavity,lowers high blood pressure, and promotes nerve health.

Walnuts are  a superfood as they are loaded with essential fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins.


How to use Cashew nuts in a healthy way?

Cashew nuts can be easily added to various dishes. They can be consumed either raw or roasted or salted. They can be used either as whole or ground cashews for cooking. Cashew nuts can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. Some of them are as follows.

  • Used as a garnish.
  • Combined with rice.
  • Added to flavour meals.
  • Used to thicken gravies.
  • Used in smoothies and gravies.
  • Added in sweet desserts, fruit bowls, and cakes.
  • As cashew milk, cashew cream, and cashew butter. 
  • Used in scrambled tofu, stir-fries, stews, salads, and soups.

How to prepare Cashew milk using Cashew nuts?

Take 2 cups of cashews and blend them in a food processor, add 1 cup water for desired consistency.

Filter the cashew milk using a clean muslin cloth.

Refrigerate the cashew milk. 

Shake it well before using it.

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