The seeds in question are the cashew nuts. These kidney-shaped nuts contain Anacardic chemicals that kill gram-positive bacteria in the organism. Positive bacteria are responsible for the appearance of acne, dental problems, as well as respiratory problems, including serious conditions like tuberculosis and pneumonia.
Cashew nuts are native to Brazil, particularly the coastal areas in the north-east of the country. You might have noticed that cashews are available pre-shelled, i.e. with their shell removed. This is due to the fact that the shell contains the so-called cashew balm, also known as caustic resin, a substance used to make chemicals like varnishes, bleaches, and insecticides. This should make it clear that it is very harmful and should not be consumed.
Today, cashews mostly come from Brazil, Tanzania, India, Nigeria, and Mozambique. These nuts contain high levels of phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and manganese, combined with low levels of fat. In fact, cashews have lower fat levels than any other type of nut. The fat they contain is mostly ‘good’ fat, i.e. over 80% good unsaturated fatty acids, of which more than 60% are monounsaturated fats that keep your heart in good health. This nutritive profile makes cashews very close to olive oil in structure.
Research have shown that adding monounsaturated acids to the low-fat diet used by diabetes patients results in a reduction of the triglyceride levels. High levels of triglycerides (i.e. fats transported through the bloodstream) are especially harmful to the heart. That is why you should increase the consumption of monounsaturated fats. And what better way to do it than by eating cashews?
Cashews Protect from Cancer
The Anacardic acid we mentioned before is the key substance in cashews. This substance destroys gram-positive bacteria, bacteria responsible for many health problems like tuberculosis, leprosy, tularemia, pneumonia, tooth decay, and acne.
Even small dosages of anacardic acid are enough to kill these bacteria in a very short time. To be more precise, even one part of this acid dissolved in as much as 1.000.000 parts water should do the trick. Besides this powerful acid, cashews also contain antioxidants and have been found very efficient in cancer prevention, as well as in fighting H. pylori and various types of ulcers.
But despite all these positive properties of cashews, there are only a few reports that promote the health benefits of these nuts. One such report was published in Nature’s British Journal of Cancer. It states that eating nuts, especially cashews, helps the inhibition of pancreatic cancer cells.
Natural Treatment for Gallstones
Another important health benefit of these amazing nuts is that they can lower the risk of gallstones. This was shown in a study (from the Nurses’ Health Study), which covered a period of over twenty years and included thousands of women. The study found that women who consumed at least one oz. of cashews a week had lowered their risk of gallstones by more than 20%.
One ounce of cashews equals about 25-30 of these nuts. You can consume them in the form of a nut butter (prepare it at home or buy it from a health-food store to be sure it is organic and without any chemicals added). You can also consume the cashew nuts raw (a handful after lunch will suffice as a snack), or add them to your meals. The best and easiest way to include them into your everyday diet is by adding them to your smoothie, oatmeal, or salad.
Cashews Reduce the Risk of Weight Gain
People mistakenly believe that the fats in cashews and other nuts will make them overweight and that is the reason they avoid eating nuts. We have already mentioned that the fats in cashews are ‘good’ fats. They are very beneficial for the heart and there is no danger for weight gain.
On the contrary, a study has found that people who consume nuts at least twice a week reduce the possibility of uncontrolled weight gain. To be more precise, the study took place in Spain and lasted for more than two years. It involved hundreds of men and women and the final result was that people who ate nuts twice a week reduced the risk of obesity by more than 30%. The amount of weight gain avoided in this case were about 11 lbs. The subjects who showed a weight gain were the ones who did not eat nuts or consumed them from time to time.
We hope that all the listed reasons are enough to persuade you to make cashew nuts part of your food regimen and improve your overall well-being.