Cashew a Nut or a Seed ?
A cashew is technically not a nut at all—it’s a seed that grows on a cashew apple. The apple, with the seed still attached, is picked from the tree branch. The seed is then pulled off, dried, and steamed by hand. Before the shell is removed, the seed must be frozen or boiled.
Know More About Cashews
Why W-180 is the KING of Cashews?
What is W-180? Cashew is differentiated by its grade, ‘W’ stands for Whole and 180 is the grade which means 180 of whole cashew nuts in 1 pound (454 grams). There are normally 5 grades of Whole Cashew, W-180, W-210, W-240, W-320, and W-450 available in the market. Lower the grade better the quality of cashew in terms of shape, size, taste and health benefits.
W-201, W-240 and W-320 are commonly available in the market which has Normal Size, Shape, Taste and Price while W-180 is commonly not available in the market because of its limited production and demand which makes it costlier than others.
Although cashews are one of the lowest-fiber nuts, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function. Some of the health benefits that come along with cashew are good metabolism, a healthy heart, increasing immunity, healthy bones and can also prevent colon cancer.
- Heart Health
Research shows that eating more nuts, such as cashews, can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. This may occur by reducing blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels. Nuts are naturally cholesterol-free and contain good amounts of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They also contain arginine, which protects the inner lining of artery walls. Other vitamins and minerals in nuts, like potassium, vitamins E and B6, and folic acid, also help to fight heart disease.
- Blood Health
The copper and iron in cashews work together to help the body form and utilize red blood cells. This in turn keeps blood vessels, nerves, the immune system, and bones healthy and functioning properly.
- Eye Health
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for your eyes, but it might come as a surprise that cashews are too! They contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants when consumed regularly. These compounds protect the eyes from light damage (which can turn into blindness in the elderly), and can even help decrease the instance of cataracts.
- Weight Loss
According to Harvard research, two servings of nuts a day is helpful in fighting against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Replacing animal fats and proteins with the mono-and polyunsaturated fats found in cashews is an excellent way to manage your weight and reduce the build-up of fat and cholesterol in the heart.
- Healthy and Shiny Hair
Experts say that the consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. Copper present in cashew nut oil helps in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin. It also enhances hair colour and can provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.
How to Store
- Store in Airtight Containers – Containers that have air-tight seals like glass jars, zip lock pouches and plastic containers should be used when storing nuts. This ensures your stored nuts will maintain the proper moisture level which keeps the Nuts fresh & crunchy for longer time and also protects from outside odour.
- Store in a cool and dry place – Don’t store in kitchen pantry to which expose the nuts in high temperature area. Freeze them to increase its shelf life to 10-12 Months.
- Toast them to extend their shelf life - The moment you feel that your nuts have started tasting stale, toast them in an oven for few minutes to extent their shelf life. Doing so might just bring back their flavor. However, a lot depends on what extent the nuts have gone stale. If the oils in nuts have gone bad, there's no fixing them.
Native to northeastern Brazil, the tree made its way to India by Portuguese sailors between 1560 and 1565. The Portuguese name for the nut is caju which is where the informal name comes from.
Best way to consume
Cashews are a versatile addition to any diet. Eat them on their own, add them to your favorite dishes, or use them to make cashew-based sauces and desserts. Choose dry roasted or raw unsalted varieties whenever possible.
If you tend to have gallbladder issues or get kidney stones avoid cashews because they obtain oxalates which can make your condition worse.