Cashew, the edible seed or nut of ancacardium occidentale, a polygamus Tropical and sub-tropical evergreen was first discovered by the Spanish explorers in the region known as state of maranhao in Northern Brazil. The name cashew comes from the Tupi-India tribe of Brazil "acaju". In the 15th century the Portuguese missionaries brought the cashew to east Africa and to India and believed to have planted as a Wind breaker and prevent soil erosion. Cashew played an important part in the diet of the original Indian inhabitants of the region where Cashew was first discovered. Thus we can assume the Portuguese who Planted cashew trees in East Africa and in India were already aware of the importance of cashew as an edible nut.

Health aspects

     It has been proved that nuts in general provide more than twice the energy furnished by meat and fish. They are also richer in proteins.

      Cashews are rich in essential amino acids also. The fat profile of cashew nuts would be in the ratio Saturated:Monosaturated:Polysaturated 1:2:1; which is most ideal for human consumption.

      Cashews are a good source of minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous. It has also been noted that cashews provide more of the essential trace elements like iron, copper and zinc than all other nuts. These minerals in their organic form protect our physical health and nervous system.

      Cashews are excellent dietary supplements in the human diet especially in lactating women, pregnancy, children and convalascing patients. Protein is present in abundance and that too of a good quality. Cashews provide a rich blend of minerals and water soluble vitamins. The fat content of cashew makes it an energy rich food and the fatty acid profile makes it ideal for human consumption.

      So much so cashews find itself at the bottom of the meditteranean diet pyramid, along with fruits, vegetables, beans, bread, pasta etc which are recommended for daily intake. Cashews are useful in the treatment of various diseases like scurvy, anemia, nervous weakness etc due to the high Vit.B and iron content.

      The Harvard heart letter published by Harvard medical school, noted various health benefits of Nuts. Nuts have a unique nutrine composition and it is plauisible that they could favourably affect Heart disease risk factors and interfere with the development of plaque in the arteries and the Fats in the nuts can lower over all cholesterol and improve the ratio between ldl and hdl Cholesterol and thereby lower the risk of heart disease.

 Nutrition Facts
 Serving Size: ΒΌ cup (28g/1 oz)
 Amount Per Serving
 Calories 160
 Calories From Fat 110
 
% Daily Value
 Total Fat 14g
21 %
  Saturated Fat 2g
11 %
  Polyunsaturated 2.5g
 
  Monounsaturated Fat 9g
 
 Cholesterol 0mg
0 %
 Sodium 0mg
0 %
 Potassium 150mg
4 %
 
 
 Total Carbohydrates 8g
2 %
  Dietary Fiber 2g
7 %
  Sugars 2g
 
 Protein 5g
 
 Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
 Calcium 0%
Iron 10%
 Phosphorus 15%
Magnesium 20%
   The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
*Nutritional value for fat and Sodium will vary somewhat for roasted and salted cashews depending on the processor. For example, a 1 ounce serving of roasted and salted cashews may contain 15% of the daily value for saturated fat and 5% of the daily value for Sodium.
"Nuts are notable not only for the superior quality of protein, but for their richness in Calcium, Iron and other mineral elements. Nuts are the quintessence of nutriment, in fact the "chef-d'oeuvre" of Nature in food products. They supply for a given weight nearly twice the amount of any other food product".