Cashew is a very well-known fruit in Brazil, especially in the northeastern region of the country.
According to the National Supply Company (Conab), the states that most cultivate cashew are, respectively, Ceará, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte.
Do you want to know more about this fruit? Then check out the text:
What is cashew and what is its origin?
The cashew is formed by the chestnut (at the top) and the floral peduncle, which is the orange part, consumed as fruit. The origin of the cashew tree is the Brazilian coast, but the seeds arrived in Africa and Asia through the Portuguese.
In fact, the largest cashew tree in the world is located in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. This tree is 8,200 m² and produces about 2 tons of cashews every year.
Talking about the tree, there are 2 types: the dwarf that can reach about 3 meters in height and the common one that measures approximately 11 meters.
These differences in the foot also interfere with the type of fruit. The cashew from the dwarf cashew tree is rounder and has a red peel. Already the one born of the common cashew tree is elongated and with orange tones.
If the cashew still has a yellow peel, it was removed from the foot before the ideal time and did not complete its natural maturation process.
All parts of Anacardium occidentale (scientific name for cashew) are usable. This is because the fruit is used by cosmetics and gastronomy. The first uses cashew in moisturizing creams and hair products. The second one uses this delicacy to make various dishes such as ice cream, juices, liqueurs and sweets.
In relation to cashew, the wood is used for carpentry and carpentry and the leaves are used to make teas.
What is the fruit: the cashew or the chestnut?
The fruit of the cashew tree is the chestnut. The cashew (orange part), in fact, is a pseudofruit (a fake fruit). This is because it resembles a fruit but is not actually produced by the flower’s ovary.
To explain it a little better, let’s go back to the concepts of biology. For this science, the fruit is a fleshy part that involves the seed in order to protect it.
And where is the cashew seed? Inside the chestnut. For this reason, through biology, the cashew fruit is what we know as the chestnut.
What are the properties of cashew?
Approximately 100g of cashew contains about 43kcal. One of the most positive things about this fruit is that its cholesterol index is 0mg, when consumed naturally, in addition to having 17.7g of dietary fiber. Cashew still has vitamins and minerals. Learn more about the other properties:
In 100g of cashews, 219mg of vitamin C are present, being an important and quite rich source of the nutrient.
Other vitamins such as those of the B complex , type E and K can also be found in this fruit.
In 100g of cashew you can find:
|Type of fat:||The amount:|
About 100g of the fruit contains:
What is the health benefit of cashew?
The consumption of cashew, its nuts, wood and leaves has several health and beauty benefits.
We divided this topic according to the parts of this delicacy. Check out:
Cashew (orange part) is very good for increasing the body’s immunity and preventing bacterial and viral diseases and infections, since it is rich in vitamin C.
The amount of magnesium present in cashews can also help to control blood pressure, especially if the person suffers from hypertension.
In addition, copper, selenium and phosphorus are examples of nutrients present in cashews that help keep skin and hair healthy , shiny and hydrated.
The cashew nut is an oilseed (in this group are all the chestnuts, flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and sesame). But what is this? Calm down, that we will explain:
The first characteristic of these seeds is that they are coated with a hard variety. They are famous for being a source of “good fat”.
This “good fat” is responsible for controlling blood cholesterol levels: increasing the good (HDL) and decreasing the bad (LDL).
Another advantage of this group of seeds is to avoid the formation of clots in the veins, which can impair blood circulation.
Oilseeds also fight free radicals, preventing the body from premature aging.
Iron is also extremely important for nutrients to reach all parts of the body, through the blood.
Thus, this part of the delicacy must be ingested by those who have complications with blood cells (such as white and red blood cells).
Chestnut calcium helps prevent diseases such as osteoporosis .
The eye health can also be benefited from the consumption of cashew nuts. That’s because they contain substances like Lutein and Zeaxanthin that prevent blindness from exposure to light and decrease the chances of developing cataracts .
Research done at the Federal University of Ceará shows that a resin present in the stem of this tree (called cashew glue) has healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Popular wisdom already uses powdered cashew seeds to make ointments used to treat wounds and cracked skin.
Who has gastritis can take cashew juice?
The ideal is to talk to the doctor (a) who can give an answer based on your medical history and your current medical condition.
Cashew (or the juice of this fruit) is already naturally critical, that is, it contains high levels of acids, which can aggravate intestinal complications (such as gastritis ).
But in some cases, drinking the drink may be allowed by gastroenterologists.
In these exceptions, the person undergoes treatments to fight gastritis, and the cashew juice is also diluted and mixed with other fruits to neutralize the acidity.
How to eat cashew nuts?
The healthiest way to consume cashew nuts is fresh and with the least amount of salt possible. Using this ground or crushed delicacy in wholegrain bread doughs, cakes and cookies is also a practical way to ingest the chestnut. In addition, it is possible to put the chestnut in yogurt or mix with fruit.
Regarding the quantity, the ideal is to eat a maximum of 2 nuts per day (or 10g). This is enough to enjoy the benefits of this delicacy and promote a feeling of satiety, which inhibits the urge to eat on impulse.
Caramelized or salted versions tend to be bad and should be avoided, since they are rich in sodium or white sugar, which tends to be harmful to health.
Can you eat raw?
Ideally, the consumption of cashew nuts should always be done after it is roasted or roasted.
But why? Well, the cashew nut contains a toxin known as Urushiol.
In the mildest cases, this toxin tends to generate dermatitis and skin wounds. In more serious situations, it can cause allergies in the respiratory system and even be fatal for some people.
The good news is that Urushiol is not resistant to high temperatures.
That is, when the nut is submitted to the oven, for example, this toxin comes out in liquid form (in this step, it is known as cashew nut liquid or simply LCC).
After this phase of “overheating” the nut, it is broken and washed, to remove all excess LCC and shells.
Only after all this process is it ready for consumption.
How many cashew seeds can you eat per day?
The ideal is to consume up to 2 units (about 10g) of cashew nuts per day. It is rich in fats and therefore its excessive consumption can cause an increase in body weight. Another mineral that is present in this delicacy and, when consumed without moderation, can be harmful is Selenium.
The consumption of cashew nuts in the most natural way possible is ideal for that snack or food supplement, reinforcing nutrition.
This delicacy has meat-like proteins and is often one of the options consumed in vegetarian and vegan diets.
What are the harms of cashew?
Despite providing many health benefits, the excessive consumption of cashews and nuts tend to have some negative consequences. Among them is the excess of greasiness on the skin and hair and the increase in the amount of calories that, in excess, is harmful for those who want to lose weight.
What is the cashew leaf for?
With the cashew leaf you can make used teas in 2 ways: internal and external administration. The popular wisdom indicates that this drink is taken (internal administration) to decrease the pressure and the levels of sugar in the blood and to treat intestinal complications ( diarrhea and nausea).
The infusion of hot water with the leaves of the cashew tree is also used as an expectorant syrup for cases of cough and phlegm.
The bark of both the fruit and the tree can also be used as raw material for teas. In this case, the drink is considered an aphrodisiac.
For external use, this tea can be applied to the skin to treat chilblains and inflammations. In cases of thrush and mouth sores, it is recommended to gargle with the drink.
How to plant?
The ideal climate for planting the cashew tree is hot and dry, with an average temperature of 27º C, typical of the region of northeastern Brazil.
This fruit tree requires little physical space (it can even be planted in backyards) and little care to maintain itself.
The ideal distance between one pit and another varies between 7 meters (for the dwarf type) and 10 meters (for the common cashew tree).
Irrigation, on the other hand, should be more frequent during the 1st year of the tree, which needs to receive water every 15 days.
Light soils, ie, more sandy are the best type to carry out cajuculture.
The cashew tree begins to produce its first fruits after 1 year in the soil and with proper care, usually between the months of August and January.
Cashew is an exotic fruit around the world, but known among the Brazilian people. The consumption of this delicacy can be harmful for people with intestinal complications, such as gastritis.
The Healthy Minute brings other information about food . Check out our posts!