Nowadays, everybody wants to have beautiful skin, strong hair, good mood and tons of energy for the whole day. You might think it’s impossible to have all these features at once. However, nuts and seeds might be the answer we are looking for. Rich in vitamins and proteins, they have the power to make people look and feel healthy without adding traditional medicines with harmful side effects.
Coconut, cocoa beans, hazelnuts and almonds are just some types of nuts with endless health benefits. We all love chocolate don’t we? But how many of you use it to lose not gain weight? Consumed in raw form without added sugar, chocolate inhibits appetite, provides energy and makes people happier and more vibrant. Nuts have high amounts of fiber in their composition that can help people with their weight loss. Most people are wrong when they think that nuts and seeds make them fat. It’s perfectly true that they’re rich in calories but when consumed in proper dosages they can help us have a healthy diet.
Research studies have been extremely successful over the years. They have discovered that nuts have numerous health benefits. They can prevent various forms of cancer, improve digestion, boost mood swings, cure diabetes and deal with harmful free radicals within the body. In addition, nuts and seeds are a strong source of healthy vitamins and proteins. Vitamin C and E, magnesium, calcium, potassium and carotene are just some ingredients that make up the ideal recipe for a healthy body.
Peanuts, pine nuts and macadamia nuts are famous for their omega 3 fatty acids content. People’s immune systems will be protected, blood pressure will be reduced and above all that, the skin will look incredible. Over the years, nuts and seeds have become essential additives in cosmetic industries worldwide. People use their properties to make creams, moisturizers and lotions, especially because their high quantities of oleic acid work miracles on the skin, muscles, hair and aging process. Treating depression with drugs will have temporary effects; replacing them with supplements based on cocoa beans is a more sensible alternative because the effect is similar but it won’t come with severe side effects.
It’s already a fact that everything that’s natural is healthy. Alternative medicine adheres to this motto and so far, it has managed to heal millions of people. When it comes to seeds, we sometimes include them in our diet without even realizing it. Flax seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds have endless purposes. While some of us eat them in raw form when we watch a movie, others prefer them on breads and other pastries. Consuming them on a daily basis we accumulate natural enzymes that will make our bodies stronger and healthier.
When we think or talk about chocolate, the first thing which comes in our mind is something sweet, delicious, packed in a beautiful style. A wide range of variety comes in our mind. Some imagine plain bars and some imagine the chocolate biscuit bars. But the taste we imagine is “sweet”. However, reading the long history of chocolates tells us that “sweet sugar” has to do nothing which chocolate.
90% history of chocolate tells us that it was mainly used as a beverage “a drink” rather than something to “eat”.
The history and basic terminology of chocolate can be a little perplexing. The experts say that the thing we call “cacao” is the raw form and the processed form of cacao is called chocolate. Chocolate is made from cacao beans. No exact time period can be specified when cacao was first discovered however the historians estimated that it is surely from last 2000 years. It can be older but 2000 years are for sure. In early times the Latin name given to cacao was “theobrama” which means “food for the Gods”.
Discovered by probably the natives of South America, people there used to consider that this food is gifted by the God to the Maya. The Maya’s celebrate the cacao God every year in April and exchange gifts as a part of celebration. The Mexicans of early times used to consider that cacao beans are intoxicating and so it was only consumed by the adult males. They also thought that females might develop reproductive problems so it was prohibited. Columbus was the one who discovered cacao bean. European started using it as a source of money as they were not aware of the fact that it can be used as food. Hermando Cortez was the first person who learned about the food nature of cacao. Then in around 1554 they started using cacao as beverage and were served in Spanish court. They used it as a substitute for alcohol. Then they discovered the medicine use of cacao and Western Europe considered it to be a great medicine for many problems.
The sweet chocolate or cacao was not discovered by now. It is reported that a wedding was held in Europe where many foreigners were present. Here they served the beverage form of chocolate which was bitter. The foreigners obviously didn’t like the taste but when they mixed sugar or honey in it, they become quite fond of it. And then the sweet part of chocolate was introduced.
In 17th century cacao in sweet form became a famous drink as well as medicine for many problems. In cold region this drink was used to warm their bodies. When the actual “chocolate form was introduced, the Spaniards kept it a secret. But then the Europeans replaced Spain in the popularity of chocolate. The cacao bean drink was quite famous and the popularity spread through France and throughout the world.
Benefits of raw cacao:
Cacao comes with so many benefits than I can ever talk about. Raw form might not be very good in taste but the benefits will surely attract you towards the use. The raw form of cacao contains anti-oxidants. If you keep it unheated it will include higher level of anti-oxidants, Vitamin C, , omega fatty acids ( which becomes rancid), serotonin, phenethylamine ( the neurotransmitter which is responsible for love), tryptophan ( deficient amino acid). There is so much more you learn and understand about cacao. The more you explore the more you are amazed.
Many of us assume that the chocolate bars we eat can lead us to problems like overweight, acne, pimples, diabetes etc. although it happens not with everyone but even if it does, it because of the non-raw form. Raw cacao comes with no side effects and only benefits. The raw form can have more benefits like:
- Weight loss – because it contains high amount of chromium it helps you lose weight
- Cavities – it prevents you from cavities. The theobromine it contains kills the bacterium which causes cavities in tooth.
- Regulation of blood – the chromium it contains naturally controls your blood sugar.
- Heart – raw cacao is highly recommended for the heart patients. It prevents you from cardiac and coronary diseases. It controls the whole cardiovascular system
- Magnesium – cacao contains the largest amount of magnesium when compared with other food. Magnesium lacks in many types of food we prefer nowadays. Cacao can help us cover up the deficiency of magnesium in our body. Magnesium helps us to relax our muscles, relax hearts, prevents from paralyzing, peristalsis in bowels is improved.
- Antioxidants- dark chocolate or the raw form contains antioxidants which dissolve plaque created in arteries. Also they help in controlled blood pressure.
- Vitamin – raw cacao contains may natural vitamin and minerals required by our body
- Metabolism – in a research it has been proved that cacao is most beneficial for plasma control and metabolism. It helps in proper digestion and prevents many stomach ailments
- Dilation – the diet we consume nowadays usually has high cholesterol level which blocks the arteries and also the dilation is difficult. Cacao dilates the artery which helps in proper blood circulation
- Concentration- eating raw cacao also helps in increased plasma concentrations
- It protects against reactive oxygen species.
- Cancer- although it has not been proved many studies but most researchers claim that cacao can also prevent from cancer. Both in animals and human beings. And adding water in it does not reduce the content of anti oxidants.
- High blood pressure- patients with high blood pressure are advised to take raw or dark chocolate. It controls their blood pressure problem
- Heart attack- raw cacao also reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke. But the sugar added in these chocolate may not give the same benefit
- Prevailing problems- in latest researches it has been proved that it can also solve some problems related to blood which are already there in your body.
Benefits of cacao nibs:
Cacao nibs are more commonly known as chocolate nibs. These nibs are extracted from the cacao beans which are roasted, husk is peeled off and then it is broken into smaller pieces. The chocolates come from cacao beans. They fall in the nut family because these are seeds of a fruit. 12-50 percent of the cacao nib contains fat which depends on the growth and variety condition.
Main nutrient- the basic nutrient in cacao is magnesium which is highly required by our body. 100 grams on nibs can provide you 272mg of magnesium. Our body needs a lot of magnesium in our daily diet but the food we eat nowadays lacks in magnesium. But cacao nibs are a great source for it. A strange fact about the chocolate lovers is that when they crave too much for the chocolates it means that their body lacks magnesium. It has been proved in a research that maximum of the diet of Americans contain no magnesium because of which they eat too much sweets and chocolates along with coffee as their body craves for it.
Anti-oxidants – if you consume 100grams of nibs then they provide you 10 grams of anti oxidants. These anti oxidants improve your circulatory system.
Minerals – cacao nibs also provide many main minerals our body requires. They are zinc, copper, manganese, iron and Vitamin C as well. Cacao nibs can be helpful for those who wish to lose weight as it suppresses your appetite and provides you enough energy as well.
Cacao nibs can be included in your diet in many ways. You can ground these cacao beans, sprinkle it on your ice cream, and use them with herbal teas, with smoothes, with cereals and other meals. One ounce of nibs contains 145 calories 11g fiber and 11g fats. No doubt that the fat level is high but the fat type is the one which is easily absorbed by your body. So as mentioned above, it helps you lose weight.
Other vitamins present in cacao nibs are E, D, and B1. But note that if you need all the above mentioned benefits, you must try sugar free or raw nibs as in candy bars the extra ingredient and sugar added changes the benefits.
Cacao nibs also contain a special chemical which improves brain activity. It enhances your physical activity and mood. These chemical include beta-carotene, lipase, proteins, alkaloids, lysine and some other neurotransmitter.
Some of the most prominent effects of these chemicals on your body are:
It increases your energy. Your body is relaxed and nervous system starts working smoothly. It dilates your blood vessels as well.
Changes in mood:
Research has shown that if you are going through sever mood swings than you must try some nibs or chocolates. It greatly relaxes your mind and the naturally occurring compound MAO helps you achieve a happy and relaxed mood. Also if you are going through depression, chocolates are the best source of getting out of it.
Benefits of chocolate:
Chocolates come from cacao; they are processed form of cacao. Although some people believe that the processed form which contains sugar does not have the same or any benefits. However, this is not true. Why do we prefer cotton dresses if the processed form can’t have the raw form’s benefit? Obviously the use and benefits are different. Just like that chocolates have some other benefits. Some are same as cacao and some are different from the raw form.
Some of the main benefits of chocolates are:
- A latest study has shown that those who have a weak heart and doctor suggest avoiding sweet and too much cholesterol, than they must try chocolates to fulfill their desires. Chocolates are not only “desired” by heart because of their good taste but they are also good for heat itself. 44% of people suffering from heart problems are now facing reduced strokes and heart problems. So chocolates prevent strokes.
- Inflaming proteins are reduced by taking a small amount of chocolate (usually dark chocolate) daily.
- Another study has proved that the clumping of platelets in chocolate eaters is less than normal people. Clumping of platelets causes heart attack and so chocolates prevent clumping.
- If your children or you yourself are suffering from weak math problem than go for some yummy chocolates. As your mind stress up by too much math, if you eat chocolates while studying math it is said to improve your mental ability to understand math with enjoyment.
- Chocolates contain some enzymes and chemicals which reduces the risk of cancer.
- A strange benefit of chocolate is to cut the affect of alcohol. If you eat chocolate with alcohol then you can resist the affects of alcohol.
Not many of us think before eating stuff. Almost all the world adores chocolates and you when the benefits come in front of us, the taste become more delicious. Chocolates come in different forms and types. Some are plain and some include different other ingredients so the benefits are different. Usually the main benefits come from the plain and natural form in which only sugars are added.
However, the chocolates we have today might cause some problem. As they are mixed with other fats and ingredients and also some chemicals these chocolates can be bad for your health… not very bad actually just small problems like motions, pimples and weight.
Benefits of cacao butter:
Cacao butter is quite famous among creams, shampoos, scent, smoothness and chocolates. They are used in tanning oil, soap and many lotions. Cacao butter is considered as the best moisturizer of all times. It is used to keep your skin soft and smooth. In early times when people used to rely for their beauty on natural items, cacao was considered to be the most famous one in all the skin and beauty remedies. Cacao butter melts on such temperature which is easily absorbed by the body and the oil it has is less sticky and uncomfortable. Cacao butter creams are imported and exported in many countries and people use it for skin therapy and other treatment of skin. If you have cracks on your face and other rashes etc then apply cacao butter moisturizer on your skin and it would definitely work best for your skin. The moisturizer unlike others stays for a while.
Cacao butter is recommended by dermatologist for sensitive skin and skin moisturizer. Pregnancy brings with it many skin problems and stretch marks. For such women to treat their stretch marks and other C section scars they must use cacao butter. Lotions and oils which contain cacao butter are often used for aroma therapy to endorse the feelings of relaxation and well being. There are many recent researches which shows that massaging your body daily with cacao butter will ease stress and increase your immune system because when your body relaxes, your body starts working in a finer tone. It is also reported that massaging cacao butter on breasts and legs prevents cancer in women.
Cacao butter contains a lot of CMP. The cancerous and tumor cell’s growth is inhibited because it reduces the activity of active oxygen cells in your body and prevents cancer. Cacao butter also prevents from the cholesterol related problems and kills the fat inside your body. It also stimulates your arteries and so prevents you from heart diseases and ailments. CMP also reduced the activity of T-cell in your immune system.
Cacao butter is also there in chocolates. But you can also buy pure and raw form of cacao butter from pharmacies. However it would be more expensive than chocolates. You can purchase this cacao butter from online shops as well. No or less reports have been found stating that cacao butter reacts with skin and can be a problem. But still if you face some rashes and other problems you must discontinue the use.
Benefits of cacao leaves:
Cacao leaves are also quite beneficial for you. Wait a minute- not the drug cocaine which is made from cacao leaves. There are many other benefits and uses and cacao leaves. Some of the main benefits of cacao leaves are:
Cacao leaves are a great source of oxygen in your blood. People living on high altitudes usually face the problem of lack of oxygen in their blood. If you are the one then cacao leaves can really help you. There are forms of using cacao leaves and you can choose one. Chewing cacao leaves alone can help you with your oxygen problem but you can also consume then after bowling them in water.
Cacao leaves are said to be better than coffee Why? Because they contain some special vitamins which are quite beneficial for your health and mind, these are:
Iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, ascorbic acid, Vitamin A, E and C.
If you are used to drinking alcohol but are still scared of the side effects then don’t be scared anymore because there is a healthy solution to your problem. Cocoa leaves help to prevent assimilation of alcohol. If you have to go somewhere but still feel like your dunk and down then chew some cacao leaves.
If you are on diet and trying to lose weight than cacao leaves is something for you. These natural leaves are far better than the medicines and pills you take for losing weight. Cacao leaves naturally reduces your appetite and thus you eat less.
How to use cacao leaves:
the usage of cacao leaves is easy only if you are not a very good taste eater. Cacao leaves are obviously not sweet so you have to make sure you can eat them up. First find the best quality leaves and the neat ones. Remove the stem and then wash these leaves. Leave them for dry. Then take five leaves in the beginning and place them on the corner on your cheek. Chew them for their juice (you don’t have to chew and swallow) keep them in your mouth for a while so that you can take in all the juice. Once you feel that the juice is no more there, than throw these leaves.
A confusion I would like to clear here is that cacao leaves are not even close to cocaine. Yes, they are used to produce cocaine but a large amount of cacao leaves make a small amount of cocaine. If you eat pounds of cacao leaves then it will only provide you the effect of 1g cocaine. So, all the benefits of cacao leaves are real with no side effects.
Nutrition facts of cacao:
Cacao contains some special nutrients highly demanded by our body. It is blessed with such compounds which are not present in the diet we take in on daily basis. Cacao is among those fruits ad nut family which are regarded as “best natural medicine” for all the problems. Cacao contains a large amount of dietary fibers which helps in the proper digestion of food. Also these dietary fibers are helpful for those who wish to lose their weight. They help them to burn fats and cholesterol level of body.
Other than that it contains a large amount of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are helpful to provide energy. If you consume cacao in your breakfast you can skip the lunch as you gain enough energy through carbohydrates present in these beans. However, the content is not too much to gain your weight.
Cacao also contains some fats. But these fats are well absorbed by the body and they are not stored. That is why you can’t gain weight after eating cacao. But if you eat cacao in the form of chocolate then obviously it’s fattening. The sugar level of cacao is 2% (raw cacao). So you are less likely to gain weight.
Raw cacao contains 60ca calories per oz. the benefits of cacao shows that they contain minerals and vitamin but is very light. Unlike other nuts, your body feels light even if you consume too much.
Protein content differs in cacao. In bitter and sweet of course. However, they have a good protein content.
It contains very slight amount of this nutrient. This increases the production of urine in your body. This chemical however can be toxic for animals.
Cacao contains a very small amount of caffeine in it too. Less than it is found in coffee and tea etc. but this amount of caffeine when present with others can provide some caffeine benefits.
It is a compound which has some antidepressant effects. The amount is low but still it helps in improving your mood.
Due to depression and stress our brain loses the content of Serotonin. If you eat chocolates and cacao you can recover the requirement of Serotonin in your body. And also if you are facing symptoms of PMS you can have chocolate or cacao.
Cacao nibs and beans contain some essential minerals required by your body. And some vitamin likes A, B, B1, and B3.
From the day cacao has been discovered, cacao is a subject of research. Many health benefits are proved of cacao. And not just cacao, but cacao flowers, leaves and tree benefits are amazing too. If it was a pharmaceutical drug than cacao would have won Nobel Prize for being the one medicine to cure more than hundred problems and prevent millions of them. As it falls in the fruit and nut family, no other fruit and nut have so many great qualities like cacao. The medicinal use of cacao is from the day the plant was discovered. The more you research on these plants the more you explore the benefits and medical uses of cacao.
Some of the medical uses of cacao are:
- Cacao flower – cacao flowers are said to reduce heart problems and strengthen heart problems, reduce the risk of fever because of whether changes and also reduce stress and muscles stress
- Asthma – if you have asthma or face breathing problems than these flowers can also reduce lack of breath.
- In 16th century it has been reported that dissolved cacao in hot drink solved the kidney diseases.
- History shows that in 1577 the patients suffering from the fever and liver problems were given simple cacao dissolved in water or hot milk.
- To treat the problem of dysentery the patients were given a mixture of gum and cacao beans
- Children with less appetite were given a paste which used to contain maize, cacao beans, and some other fruit.
- 1662 they discovered that liver weakness can be cured from cacao beans. It is not fattening and also helps you have a long life because of the chemicals and nutrients presents in it.
- There is a recipe which was discovered in 1685 which includes cacao nuts, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves. It is used to treat the infections of liver, bladder, and kidney.
- To summarize, in early times cacao was used for following medical properties:
Increase the health of emaciated patients, improves digestion, cures liver ailments, prevents kidney and bladder problems, treatment of anemia, mental weakness, for breast milk production, fever, general weakness, skin problems, and stomach problems.
All these cures were found when there was no advancement in medical science as compared to today. Even now, we have discovered many medicines for kidney, heart and liver but still the doctors advise to go for something natural. The chemical use in the body definitely brings out some side effects which are not affordable. For example, you are in deep depression and starts taking anti-depressants. They really help you get over the stress and pain you are going through. However, the results are temporary. They will last for maximum 4 hours and then you are craving for more. Craving for more means you are addicted to these anti depressants. Anti depressant when taken daily and on a very high amount they create hormonal disbalance in your body and then again, you have to start a course of medicines so that you can cure the problem these anti depressants created. But on the other hands, cacaos contain such nutrients which helps you with your depression and pain. They have no side effects and even if you crave for it, you can eat as much as you want. There is no need to go for medicines when nature is there to help you.
Cacao and your mind:
One of the main benefits why many countries are nowadays considered cacao as a blessing is the changing in mood and mental ability it brings out. It has some rich nutrients which enhance the development of those hormones and chemicals in our body which brings the good mood out of us. Cacao contains some compounds like anti-depressants and mood elevating. The medicines we use commonly for anxiety and depression are made up of cacao leaves or beans. But now people are using cacao or chocolates rather than these medicines to solve their problem of depression. It might be strange to know but in early days of the discovery when cacao was discovered it was said to be the food of God. The main reason other than the use as medicines was the relief of mind it used to provide. The recent studies have shown that cacao greatly affects your thinking and mood, makes you feel good and positive.
The main compound which changes mood is PEA. This is a chemical which is present in the chocolates we eat usually in cacao. It stimulates your nervous system and releases such compounds which provide you pleasure. Another compound it releases is endorphin which gives us pleasure. It is also said to raise the need for sex and you can have more pleasure. It increases the tendency of falling in love and having an orgasm. We all know that nature has the very best in it. The medicines scientist have discovered after centuries are still not comparable with the natural things. They are better and have no side effects as well. Have you ever wondered why chocolates are so special between lovers? And why every lover gifts chocolate to each other on every occasion? Well, the reason is all the factors mentioned above.
Cacao is smooth and rich in flavor. It might taste bitter to your in raw form but once you get used to it you won’t be able to leave it. It has beautiful smell as well which attracts more. The recent discoveries about the loving compounds present in cacao are found to have great tendencies of raising such chemical compounds and release of hormones which are responsible for love and pleasure.
Some scientist has discovered that cacao produces pleasurable state. People suffering from deep depression and shocks are advised to eat chocolates and drink cacao rather than using anti depressants. If you eat anti depressant you are likely to get addicted to them. They also have severe side effects. But if you eat cacao you can get over such problems without any side effects.
Cacao as alcohol:
As briefly stated above cacao in early times was used as a beverage, People used to consider it alcohol. but have you ever wondered why? Alcohol must be having some similar properties like cacao. Well, it is true. They do have some same properties. Before human being discovered alcohol they started using cacao as alcohol about 500 years ago. In around 1400 BC it was found that they used to ferment the sweet pulp of cacao and then use it as an alcoholic drink. So cacao is Mexico was only allowed for male adults. It was much more famous than wine and beer. These chocolate drinks used to have only 5% alcoholic affect as compared to today. Even then it was not allowed in many areas. The archeologist found many pottery and cups with traces if chocolate alcohol in it. They found out that people of that time used to drink it on weddings, feasts, parties of those times and in royal functions. Domestic use of these drinks was rarely found. Also the images of process were painted too.
Now, even with a large variety of drinks and beverages present everywhere in the world. The alcohol lovers are searching for new taste. Research has told me that in many countries cacao is used in alcohol for a new taste. It looks like they are impressed by their ancestors and trying to bring in the old times back. But also the research has shown some positive aspect. It tells that the chocolate alcohol drinks will have less affect. And it is easily absorbed by the body. So for all the alcoholics it is great news.
Other uses of cacao:
Cacao has so many forms and so it has many uses. Let’s start from the chocolate form of cacao
We all know the importance of chocolates in our life. They are delicious in taste and the best gift a partner can give. The chocolate industry throughout the world is earning huge profits. Chocolates other than its benefits have high demand. Basically the taste has it all. Now these chocolates are not only eaten alone but are a part of so many dishes and recipes. Chocolate ice cream the most famous use of it. Then we have chocolate cakes. Without cacao powder can we imagine cake? Then shakes and sweets. So many uses of chocolates alone
We have discussed the use of cacao butter above. But let’s summarize it again. It is uses in moisturizers. For many beautiful ladies cacao butter is blessing and the reason of their beauty. It is used in skin therapy and suggested by millions of dermatologist. The creams industries must be earning huge profits.
Cacao in drinks:
Chocolates drinks are famous I know but there are plain cacao drinks too. In tropical areas they prefer cacao drinks for energy and to keep them self warm.
Well, we have discussed a lot about cacao and its benefits. What I have concluded is that nature has the very best in its own. There are other nuts as well with so many great qualities but cacao has the most amazing ones. You don’t have to worry about the dosage and side effects. It is light or mild and you can eat it as much as you can afford. Even if the side effect comes they are light enough to bear. We use so many medicines nowadays but do not trust the nature. We forget the fact that all these things are the invented with the help of nature. If nature was not there to help provide you such tings no one would have ever invented so many medicines.
Cacao alone contains so many important minerals. For example magnesium, how much magnesium do you think you consume daily? And have you ever researched on the amount you actually need on daily basis? A lot of magnesium is demanded by our body daily but we ignore it. Nature has blessed us with cacao which provides us enough magnesium to fulfill our needs.
There are other essential minerals as well. The leaves of cacao even are not wasted. They have the same great benefits. Today we are preparing drugs and other medicines out of cacao. At one place this cacao is helping us naturally and on the other place the same cacao is processed with other ingredients to cure the same problems. Like in anti-depressant pills they have a large amount of cacao used. But if we eat it naturally we can have the same great effects as well.
So here we know that cacao is really a blessing. You must use cacao in your diet if you can. The results experienced are for sure. Cacao, in all its forms is beneficial for health. We must thank our God for gifting us such a beautiful nut to solve so many of our problems.
Cashew nut history:
Cashew traditionally known as kaju has the scientific name Anacardium occidentale (family: anacardiaceae ; genus:anacardium). Cashew tree consists of a false apple. Under that false apple is C shaped nut that consists of edible kernel. Between the inner and the outer shell is caustic oil that causes blisters. Kernels are heated on high temperature to remove toxins. Therefore the cashews are always found with their shells removed. .And they are dried and then used. Cashew shells have phenolic resins that can harm one’s skin. Cashew apple and cashew nuts have great advantages. Cashew trees were first found by the French explorer in north eastern coast of Brazil. He saw that people used cashew nuts and its fruit for eating purposes. They also used that for other purposes. Later the Portuguese explorers spread that to other parts of the world including India and coastal areas. As far as their habitat is concerned cashews grow well in warm climate. Their habitat should be humid. It helps them in their rapid growth. Cashew nuts hold a top place in the list of other nuts. Their composition includes 17 percent protein 5 percent of water, and 29 percent carbohydrate, 46 percent of fats
Cashew nuts can stay only for 24 hours. So that’s the reason they are found less in the places far from their origin. But because of processing they can be made available to other countries as well. Their processing cost a lot. Therefore we can say that it’s a food for rich people. It is processed by poor and made available to rich people of the world. Cashew nuts are very expensive nuts. Cashew trees have the average height of 40 feet. And it can bear 70 to 2000 pounds of nuts for the period of 15 to 20 year. Cashew nuts weigh between 8 to 9 grams and their density is 1. They have low calories that are 9. Cashews are the fastest growing trees found in the world but with specific conditions. Both self pollination and cross pollination take place in cashews. This makes variation in seedlings. Cashew apple and cashew nuts are the best source of nutrients. Therefore they are used as food in different parts of world. Many herbal medicines are made out of these cashew nuts. Since the day cashew nuts were discovered, they are eaten because of the great taste. Unlike other nuts having other uses in the history, cashew nut was discovered with its perfect use. They ate it and then researched on the content and benefits of these cashew nuts
Cashew nut benefits:
Cashew nuts are considered to be the best food with all the high mineral and vitamin content. If eaten with care and precautions, this fruit or nut can solve maximum of the nutrition problem in your body.
Cashew nuts contain fats contents in lower quantity. The unsaturated fatty acid contents in them in 75 percent. And this fatty acid content consists of an acid that is also found in olive oil that is oleic acid.
- Oleic acid is useful for the heart patients as well as for the people suffering from diabetes. All the nuts have their own importance and therefore people in every part of world take them either in food or in some other form. Cashew nuts have their own importance. And they are preferred over other nuts. They contain all the nutrients that are required by a body.
- Copper plays an important role in different processes. It helps in the bone and connective tissue development, energy production and also helps in immune system. It also plays role in iron utilization.
- Magnesium another important nutrient helps in maintaining the balance of calcium in the muscles and nerves. And also in the development of bones. It also play role in the excessive and uncontrollable contraction of muscles. Magnesium plays role in making the sleep pattern of women suffering from menopause normal. It deals with the problem of blood pressure, fatigue, muscle soreness and also migraines.
- Selenium acts as major component in antioxidant enzymes. Chromium helps in the production of insulin.
- All these nutrients of great importance can be found in cashew nuts. They are also major source of fiber and proteins. Cashew nuts have folate, potassium and vitamin B.
- Cashews packing are done with a number of phyto chemicals that promote health and in this way they provide protection against diseases and cancers.
- Along with oleic acid the cashew nuts also have palmitoleic acid that decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. Researchers have shown that eating cashew nuts help in protecting you against fatal diseases like coronary artery diseases and protects you against strokes.
- Cashew nuts have vitamins including pyridoxine, thiamin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Our body requires these vitamins and therefore they are taken from some external source. These are very important for proteins, fats and carbohydrates metabolism.
- Cashew nuts have monosaccharide fats. Monosaccharide fats are also known as good fats. These good fats reduce the triglyceride level in the blood thus responsible for good cardiovascular health. They make your blood supply to heart free of fats that may cover it all up and cause various heart diseases including heart attacks.
- These expensive but essential cashew nuts have antioxidants. These reduce the effect of not stable radicals cause cancers and other degenerative diseases. They stop the formation of blocks in the arteries and help in the proper working of heart.
- The kidney shaped, yellowish colored nuts help in the protecting against cancers relating to colon and heart diseases.
- Some people are of the view that nuts may make them obese. But this is not the case. It has been found that people taking cashew nuts at least twice a week have lesser chances of getting obese then those who don’t. People who take nuts particularly cashew nuts have 31 percent of less chances of getting fat than those who never took them in their life.
- The nuts of cashews are used to treat diseases of stomach and intestine. Cashew nuts are rich source of food.
- If you want strong gums, then cashew nuts are what you’re looking for. Eat these nuts of chew their leaves for strong gums and teeth.
- Nowadays many body builders are looking for diet which can help them maintain their body. Cashew nuts are a great body builder.
- Cashew nuts significantly raise your nutrient intake. They are stored in your body and cover up the loss of required nutrients in your body
- The raw form of cashew nuts is better than the salted and processed one. You must eat them without shell but also without salt so that all the nutrients are consumed with no changes
- They are complete and high quality proteins. Many other foods contain protein but the exact amount which is demanded by the body is present in cashew nuts
- They improve your blood circulation as well
- The juice of cashew nuts is applied on skin and used in many skin care products. the mature leaves of cashew nuts are also applied on skin rashes
- The juice, when exposed to the air becomes an indelible ink
- If you use butter made out of cashew nuts, you can cut the health risk usual butter includes
- Note: if you wish to reduce weight from cashew nuts, and then make sure you are not eating more than eighteen in a week. And the size you chose is small or medium with no added salt and not roasted. If you eat more than this, you can gain more weight than losing.
Interesting facts about cashew nuts:
A few interesting things researched about cashew nuts are:
- The apple kind of cashew nuts are the one and only of its kind
- They are highly flammable even if placed near the fire
- On one place they have high calories and nutrition facts and on the other hand they contain such chemicals which can burn your skin and mouth the moment you eat. But it happens very rarely
- The shells of cashew nuts are poisonous. The poison is removed by steaming the shell
Cashew nuts are the strongest one in nut family. They contain the highest amount of mineral and vitamins. Cashews are considered as one of the best source of anti oxidants. The research on its nutrition facts shows that one fourth cup of cashew nuts contains 37.4% fats, 22.3% magnesium and vitamin likes niacin, folate, and Vitamin C in the balanced amount which is recommended by physicians to be a part of our daily diet.
Cashews have high calorie content but even after that they are considered among the “low fat foods”. They have less fat per serving than the other nuts of the same family. It also contains a large amount of other minerals and vitamins. The following chart shows the nutrition value per 100g:
|Dietary fibers||3.3 g|
The nutrition chart shows the high amount of calories and minerals present in cashew nuts. In many countries they believe that cashew is among those nuts which have the exact amount of minerals demanded by our body. And to some extent this is true. Our diet lacks in magnesium and proteins which are quite important. Cashew nuts can solve the problem and provide you the demanded amount of magnesium and proteins. Cashew nuts are also called “natures vitamin pill” for the high content value it has. They are ranked no 1 in the whole nut family.
All the minerals and fats cashews contain are in high amount. In hot countries people avoid to eat them much as it can cause nausea and vomiting. Not because it has high content of fats but because generally it is a hot food. Eating it in summer can cause problem of course but it is used in the form of dishes and when mixed with other recipes. Cashew nuts are usually preferred in winter season. People eat it while sitting with their friends and family.
Cashew is a useful tree with all its part starting from the bark to the fruit has great benefits and medical uses. The parts of these trees can individually and collectively used to treat many internal and external problems. Some fresh extract of different parts of cashew nut plants are used orally as aphrodisiac, antihemorrhagic, antidysenteric, and anti-inflammatory. Some of the most famous medicinal use of cashew nuts along with the parts of plants is mentioned below.
Hot water or fresh extract of these leaves can be used orally and with boiled water to treat diabetes. Basically it controls your diabetes. In Brazil and Thailand this is a very famous way of controlling diabetes. Also, it cleans your stomach and washes ulcers.
The bark of cashew nut tree is used to treat the problem of infertility in many women and as a treatment of amenorrhea. It is also proved that this bark is helpful in controlling diabetes. The bark is boiled in water and taken orally as hypertensive, antidysenteric and hypoglycemic. The hot water extract is used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Both ripe and unripe conditions of these barks are used to treat several problems in many countries. In India they used it to treat diabetes. The unripe form of these barks is considered as a great treatment for mellitus and diabetes in Europe. The dried fruit is prepared with other ingredients to solve the problem of yaws. To prevent termite attack in India the bark is considered as an insecticide and chilblains. For the purpose of killing pests the leaves and bark is very famous in other countries as well. In America the cutting of these trees is said to be unofficial because there are great uses of these trees. The throat pains get relieved if you use hot water extract of cashew nut.
Seeds of cashew nuts are eaten orally as an aphrodisiac in Columbia. The main reason is to increase the sexual desire and as a cure for impotency. In other countries they use it for the same reason but first they toast the seed and then the powder obtained is mixed with honey or sugar and then consumed. Many Asian countries also use these seeds as an aphrodisiac. In other countries these seeds are considered to solve the problem of respiratory system. And as an anti-inflammatory. Also for the cure of warts they use hot water extract of these seeds. To treat the urinary bladder problems these seeds are also considered to be one of the best solution. They take juice of these seeds as medicine of uterine disorder.
People suffering from hypertension can take the hot water extract of cashew nut plant. Also it is considered as a diuretic.
The timber of cashew nut is used to make furniture. It is one of the finest timbers in the world. The timber is exported in many other countries. The furniture made out of cashew nut tree is quite expensive. Not many furniture companies can afford to use it.
Other medicinal uses:
The nut shell of cashew is composed of acacardic acids which are a great source to fight against tooth decay. The most amazing thing it treats is the snake bite. The seeds are ground into powder and rubbed on the bitten area alone or with oil. It is considered as one of the best traditional treatment for snake bite. The oil of cashew nut is used as anti fungal. If you have ringworms and other problems of feet than use nut oil as a solution. Rub it on your feet daily and you will see a prominent difference.
But the oil must be used after reading the precautions. You can apply it on corns, ringworms, warts, ulcers and also it is used for the treatment of skin. For skin disorders they eat roasted cashews, a specific amount daily.
The oil is also used by many herbalists for the growth of warts. For womb disorders which pregnant women usually face, cashew nut juice is given as a homeopathic medicine. Also it is used as anti-anxiety and breathlessness.
Just like other nuts, cashew nuts are used to prevent gallstones. In many countries, research has proved that a large amount of women, estimated 25% have reduced the risk of gallstones after including nuts in their diet.
In Philippines they have invented a cream out of cashew nut which is said to be anti-cancer. Basically it is invented to cure cell carcinoma a common type of cancer in United States.
Other uses of cashew nuts:
The nuts have juicy and salty flavor which is why it is used in the puddings. They are also used with other food to improve the flavor of a dish or desert. The process of roasting these nuts is done with great care. Even the fumes are a bit dangerous and can burn your hands. Also, research has shown that these fumes can be poisoning as well so make sure your face is covered.
Grounded cashew nut powder is used in many ice cream and chocolate recipes. It is also sprinkled over ice creams. The fruit cashew nut has a yellowish color and a pleasant taste. In early times this fruit was also used in wine and beverages. It makes better spirit than rum or arrack.
The food is also used to keep the ant’s way. It might seem strange but in India they leave the grounded powder or juice of cashew nuts to keep the white ants away.
In China, cashew nuts hold great importance. They use cashew nuts in their international recipes. Many Chinese dishes are made up of cashew nuts or include cashew nuts. Some have it raw and some ground it and use it as a spice. The cashew nut paste is also very famous. They serve it with food in restaurants.
In peanut butter, which is a well known paste used in breakfast in many countries cashew nuts are used. Although we call it “peanut butter” but it has a large amount of cashew nuts in it. They are also used in a refreshing drink in many countries. Here they mix it with other ingredients. Usually this drink is served in winters.
Cashew nuts hold great economic benefits. The process of pollination and then extraction is a difficult one. In countries where these nuts are grown, government ensures the safety and protective measures. So, they demand high amount of money in return as well. As all these nuts require a specific environment to grow, they can’t be blessed anywhere you want them too. So these countries are blessed ones and so they have the right. But as these cashew nuts have so many benefits; people accept the amount these countries demand. Cashew nuts are exported and imported in other countries on a high scale. Also, the products made out of cashew nuts are also highly demanded. Creams, pastes, packed cans, etc all these forms are demanded.
If you notice one thing about these nuts, the most common thing is their specific environment of growing and the uses of whole plant. Just like many other nuts, the whole plant of cashew nuts is useful. Be it the tree or leaves or the fruit itself. The bark and leaves if can’t be eaten, they hold medicinal value. Many herbalists and allopathic have used the leaves and bark in their medicines. The juice of these nuts is useful enough, not only for health but also for many other useful things. The more you research on the benefits and uses the more you understand that nature holds the very best in his own hands.