Widely available in supermarkets in Singapore, reach for cashew nuts if you want a nutritious snack to satisfy hunger pangs.
We all know that this sweet, kidney-shaped nut is often consumed as a between-meal snack, but in addition to its taste, each cashew nut packs a huge load of nutrition as well.
Technically seeds adhered to the bottom of cashew apples, they are grown on a tree native to the Amazon rainforest. While the cashew apple is not as popular as its seed, the apple is regarded as a delicacy in Brazil and the Caribbean.
One of the major benefits is that these nuts are packed with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavonols that prevent cancer cells from dividing. Coupled with their high copper content, eating them can effectively reduce the risk of colon cancer. The copper in these nuts also promote black and shiny hair, an ideal of beauty in many Asian countries.
They also are low in fat as compared to other nuts such as the macadamia variety. Fat in cashew is mostly in the form of oleic acid, which promotes good cardiovascular health. The nuts are also cholesterol free and have high levels of antioxidants, thus lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Moreover, cashew nuts are very rich in magnesium, which helps to lower blood pressure and promote bone, teeth and gum health. Even though they are relatively high in fat, these nuts are considered as “good fat” as they deliver a pack of energy and are high in dietary fibre.
Turn to the shelled nuts for a quick afternoon snack. They can also be used as a topping on salads, an ingredient for baking, or stir-fried with chicken, adding a nutty flavour to the dish.
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