Did You Know…?
The cashew nut is native of North-east Brazil. During the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced it into India and Portuguese colonies in Africa such as Mozambique. From India, cashew trees spread all over South-east Asia.
The cashew is cultivated primarily in India, Vietnam, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania and other countries in East and West Africa, Brazil and South East Asia.
The cashew nut hangs outside and under a fleshy, edible, false fruit called the cashew apple, also known as the Marañón in Central America. Once ripened, the cashew apple (which can be apple or pear shaped) can be yellow, red, orange or pink. The apple can be eaten fresh or made into juice, and can be distilled to produce alcoholic drinks
Cashews are mostly consumed as a snack, raw, roasted, salted or flavored, in baked goods and confectionary. Cashews are also used as an ingredient in Indian sweets, savories and cooking.
The cashew tree does not require extensive irrigation or water-usage; it is environmentally friendly as the trees can grow in poor soils and dry climatic conditions. It is widely used in afforestation programs as it requires almost no maintenance.
How many cashews should I eat per day?
18 cashews (28.35 g) make up the recommended daily allowance.
How can I find out if I’m allergic to nuts?
Skin-prick tests and/or blood tests are the most reliable tools to determine the presence of allergen-specific immunoglobulin E, an antibody that binds to allergens and triggers the release of chemicals that cause the symptoms. If those tests are inconclusive, the allergist or immunologist may order an oral food test to see how the organism reacts to the suspected allergy-causing food1.
1. Nuts for Life. (2006). Nuts and Allergy.
What are the health benefits of cashews?
Cashews are high in vitamin K and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and copper. They are also a source of fiber, thiamin, pantothenic acid and minerals as potassium and selenium. Iron may help contribute to the normal function of the immune system whilst vitamin K contributes to normal blood clotting and healthy bones.