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Cashew nut nutrition facts Delicately sweet yet crunchy and delicious cashew nut is packed with energy, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for robust health. Cashew, or “caju” in Portuguese, is one of the popular ingredients in sweet as well savory dishes worldwide. Botanically, cashew is an average size tropical evergreen tree belonging in the Anacardiaceae family, in the genus: Anacardium. Scientific name: Anacardium occidentale. cashew nut with apple cashewnuts Cashew apple with nut. (Photo: by Young in Panama) Delicious cashews! The cashew tree is native to Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. It spread all over the world by Portuguese explorers and today, it is cultivated commercially in Brazil, Vietnam, India and in many African countries. Cashew tree bears numerous, edible, pear shaped false fruits or “accessory fruits'” called "cashew apples." Cashew nut which actually is a “true-fruit”, firmly attaching to bottom end of cashew-apple, appearing like a clapper in the bell. Botanically, this tiny, bean shaped, grey “true fruit” is a drupe, featuring hard outer shell enclosing a single edible kernel known commercially as “cashew nut.” 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 in order to destroy urushiol resin, and only then its edible cashew kernel is extracted. Cashew nut measures about an inch in length, 1/2 inches in diameter, and kidney or bean shape, with smooth curvy pointed tip. Each nut splits into two equal halves as in legumes. Cashews featurec ream white color with the firm yet delicate texture and smooth surface. Health benefits of Cashew nuts Cashews are high in calories. 100 g of nuts provide 553 calories. They are packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous health-promoting phyto-chemicals that help protect us from diseases and cancers. They are rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile. Cashew nuts are abundant source of essential minerals. Minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are concentrated in these nuts. A handful of cashew nuts a day in the diet would provide enough of these minerals and may help prevent deficiency diseases. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidases, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor for many enzymes that regulate growth and development, gonadal function, digestion, and DNA (nucleic acid) synthesis. Cashews are also good in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). 100 g nuts provide 0.147 mg or 32% of daily-recommended levels of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine reduces the risk of homocystinuria, and sideroblastic anemia. Niacin helps prevent "pellagra" or dermatitis. Additionally, these vitamins are essential for metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates at the cellular level.
Healthy Dried Fruits and Nuts at Casa de Fruta Healthly Dried Fruit and Nuts Snacks Healthy Fruit Health benefits of Dried Fruit As a snack, dried fruit is vastly superior to junk foods, such as potato chips, pretzels, candy bars, and other unhealthy indulgences people reach for when they are hungry between meals. Dried fruit contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. It also helps to sweeten bland food without adding refined sugars. Small bits of dried fruit can be added to plain yogurt, oatmeal, or wholegrain breakfast cereal, making it more palatable to young children – and others who would not be able to stomach such foods otherwise. Dried fruits are also a food of convenience. Because the fruit is much smaller when dehydrated, it can be taken in backpacks without adding a lot of extra weight. Dried fruit is perfect for long trips. Fresh fruits in the car tend to be messy and leave peels, pits, and cores to throw away. Dried fruit takes up less room, and will ensure the family is getting something good. Healthy Fruits: Apricots Apricots are those beautifully orange colored fruits full of beta-carotene and fiber that are one of the first signs of summer. Nutrients in apricots can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease-fighting effects of fiber. The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them important heart health foods. Beta-carotene helps protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease. Apricots contain nutrients such as vitamin A that promote good vision. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, quenches free radical damage to cells and tissues. Free radical damage can injure the eyes' lenses. Peaches Although fresh, high-quality peaches are sweet tasting, they are low in calories, with one medium peach furnishing only about 37 calories. Yellow-fleshed varieties are a good source of Vitamin A. Remember, making peach jam or canning peaches in sugar syrup adds calories. Plums Dried Plums are ready-to-eat right from the package as a healthful snack or can be used as a versatile cooking or baking ingredient. They provide potassium, soluble and insoluble fiber, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants as well as some iron and Vitamin A. Dried Plums/Prunes can play an important role in promoting good digestive health.