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Crazy for your Health – Go Nuts!!

Written By Admin on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 | 10:20:00 AM

The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple. The cashew is consumed all around the world, it is eaten on it’s own, processed into cashew cheese or butter or it can be used in recipes. The taste is delicately sweet, but crunchy and also it is full with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential for robust health. They are actually high in calories, 100 g of nuts provide 553 calories, they are packed with soluble dietary fiber, and numerous health- promoting phyto-chemicals that help protect from diseases and cancers.
Being rich with monounsaturated-fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids it is known by its heart-friendly characteristic. The minerals that we mentioned before are abundant sources of manganese, potassium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium that are concentrated in these nuts.
Cashew in the shell are not available in stories because they are always sold pre-shelled since the interior of their shells contains a caustic resin, known as cashew balm, which must be carefully removed before their consumption.  Its exterior shell composes a phenolic resin, urushiol, which is a potent caustic skin irritant toxin. In the processing units, this outer shell is roasted under high flame in order to destroy urushiol resin, and only then underlying edible cashew kernel is extracted.
The cashew tree is native to Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. It spread all over the planet by Portuguese explorers and today, it is cultivated at commercial scale in Brazil, Vietnam, India and in many African countries like Tanzania Nigeria and Mozambique.
Here are some of the benefits of cashew nuts and some of them we’ve explained below:
  • Prevents Cancer
  • Healthy Heart
  • Lowers High Blood Pressure
  • Healthy Bones
  • Healthier Hair
  • Strong Nerves
  • Weight Loss
  • Prevents Gallstones
  • Healthy gums and teeth
  • Helps digestion

Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition (Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH), which identified several nuts among plant foods with the highest total antioxidant content, suggests nut’s high antioxidant content may be key to their cardio-protective benefits.


Nuts’ high antioxidant content helps explain results seen in the Iowa Women’s Health Study in which risk of death from cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases showed strong and consistent reductions with increasing nut/peanut butter consumption. Total death rates decreased 11% and 19% for nut/peanut butter intake once per week and 1-4 times per week, respectively.


Everyone knows that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is also vital for healthy bones. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Some helps give bones their physical structure, while the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed.


Magnesium, by balancing calcium, helps regulate nerve and muscle tone. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as Nature’s own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve. By blocking calcium’s entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they enervate) relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, however, calcium can gain free entry, and the nerve cell can become over activated, sending too many.

Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition (Blomhoff R, Carlsen MH), which identified several nuts among plant foods with the highest total antioxidant content, suggests nut’s high antioxidant content may be key to their cardio-protective benefits.





Nuts’ high antioxidant content helps explain results seen in the Iowa Women’s Health Study in which risk of death from cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases showed strong and consistent reductions with increasing nut/peanut butter consumption. Total death rates decreased 11% and 19% for nut/peanut butter intake once per week and 1-4 times per week, respectively.


Everyone knows that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is also vital for healthy bones. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Some helps give bones their physical structure, while the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed.


Magnesium, by balancing calcium, helps regulate nerve and muscle tone. In many nerve cells, magnesium serves as Nature’s own calcium channel blocker, preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell and activating the nerve. By blocking calcium’s entry, magnesium keeps our nerves (and the blood vessels and muscles they enervate) relaxed. If our diet provides us with too little magnesium, however, calcium can gain free entry, and the nerve cell can become over activated, sending too many messages and causing excessive contraction.Insufficient magnesium can thus contribute to high blood pressure, muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma), and migraine headaches, as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue. Given these effects, it is not surprising that studies have shown magnesium helps reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure, helps prevent heart attacks, promotes normal sleep patterns in women suffering from menopausal sleep disturbances, and reduces the severity of asthma.


Prevents heart diseases


Even more impressive were the results of a review study of the evidence linking nuts and lower risk of coronary heart disease, also published in the British Journal of Nutrition. (Kelly JH, Sabate J.) In this study, researchers looked at four large prospective epidemiological studies—the Adventist Health Study, Iowa Women’s Study, Nurses’ Health Study and the Physician’s Health Study. When evidence from all four studies was combined, subjects consuming nuts at least 4 times a week showed a 37% reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who never or seldom ate nuts. Each additional serving of nuts per week was associated with an average 8.3% reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Practical Tip: To lower your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, enjoy a handful of cashews or other nuts, or a tablespoon of nut butter, at least 4 times a week.


Destroys Gram Positive Bacteria


One of the most incredible compounds in cashew nuts are anacardic acids which kill gram positive bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay, acne, tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumonia, Francisella tularensis, and leprosy. A solution of one part anacardic acid to 200,000 parts water to as low as one part in 2,000,000 is actually lethal to Gram positive bacteria in 15 minutes.


Cashew nut-shell liquid and the contained anacardic acids have also been shown to possess antioxidant, anti-Helicobacter pylori and antitumor properties. This means it has the tools to defeat both cancer and many types of ulcers in the gut. Despite these known effects; there are hardly any published reports on many of these protective effects, especially the gastro protection afforded principally through its antioxidant mechanisms.


Eating Nuts Lowers Risk of Weight Gain


Although cashew nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. A prospective study published in the journal “Obesity” shows such fears are groundless. In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.


The 28-month study involving 8,865 adult men and women in Spain, found that participants who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were participants who never or almost never ate nuts.


And, among the study participants who gained weight, those who never or almost never ate nuts gained more (an average of 424 g more) than those who ate nuts at least twice weekly.

Study authors concluded, “Frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain (5 kg or more). These results support the recommendation of nut consumption as an important component of a cardio protective diet and also allay fears of possible weight gain.”
(source)
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