Cashew nut – Properties and medicinal uses

As one of the most highly prized nut, cashew nut is of great medicinal importance. The fact that it is only produced in tropical climates increases its value.

Botanical name: Anacardium occidentale L.
Other names: Cashew fruit, cashew apple
French name: Pomme de cajou, Anacarde
Spanish name: Anacardo

Cashew nut is the seed of the fruit of the cashew tree, Anacardium occidentale L., a tree of the botanical family Anacardiaceae, which usually reaches a height of about 9 to 12 meters.

Properties and Medicinal Benefits
* In terms of nutritional composition, cashew nut contains unsaturated fatty acids in rich amounts. These fatty acids includes Oleic and Linoleic.
* When it comes to vitamins, cashew nuts are very rich in Vitamins B1 and B2. These vitamin content of cashew nut is even greater than that in walnut and almond.
* As for minerals, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron are contained in significant amounts in cashew nuts. With 260mg / 100g of magnesium, cashew nut becomes one of the richest food source of this mineral. Infact, in the whole vegetable kingdom, only sunflower seeds surpass cashew nut in terms of magnesium.

The medicinal properties of cashew nuts are attributed to its high Magnesium and Vitamin content. Magnesium, which is involved in many metabolic functions is of great importance to the human body. Amongst the functions magnesium performs, the transmission of nerve impulses is the most important. The lack of magnesium brings about serious body complications such as cramps and spasms, Nervousness and irritability.
Also, as a rich source of vitamins B1 and B2, two vitamins which are necessary for nervous system stability, cashew nuts consumption becomes recommended in cases of:

* Nervousness
* Irritability
* Depression
* Weakness
* Spasms, which may be in the irritable bowel, coronary arteries, or the uterus.

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By Abbati

Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

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