Along with pistachios and Macadamia nuts, cashews occupy a privileged place in the market, being one of the most exquisite and sought-after nuts among consumers. And it is not for less, because it is a food that enjoys the perfect fat ratio In fact, it has the same monounsaturated fatty acids as olive oil. Furthermore, they are rich in copper, magnesium, and iron, without forgetting the high-quality protein and tryptophan.
Thus, this combination of nutrients protects us from cardiovascular diseases, promotes the formation of red blood cells, watches over the nervous and musculoskeletal system, ensures tissue regeneration, and helps us To fall asleep, Among other functions.
However, to take advantage of all these advantages and that its consumption does not turn against us, always you must resort to fried or toasted anarcadosIt is the only way not to suffer a terrible poisoning.
Beware of raw cashews
Surely you have never noticed, but while the market is full of nuts in their raw version, such as chestnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds, cashews are never open to this option. The reason? If they are raw, they can be highly toxic. This is due to a substance known as urushiol, a type of oil that resides in the leaves of the cashew tree, the Anacardium occidentale, as well as in the shell of the walnut and that is also present in other plants, such as Poison Ivy.
Although experts call for caution, since eating raw cashews in large quantities and one sitting can cause death, the truth is that the most frequent symptoms are usually milder. We talk about skin irritation, edema, inflammation, discharge, and, in the worst case, severe dermatitis, among others.
Also, do not let this information deprive you of the benefits of said food, since it is practically impossible for the cashews you buy in the supermarket to suffer from this problem, as most have undergone a cooking and roasting process which completely removes urushiol from its composition.
Thus, although some points of sale offer “raw” cashews, you should know that it is not true, as manufacturers are obliged to process them and subjecting them to high temperatures to remove the peel safely and eradicate the toxicity of the fruit that resides inside.
Benefits of cashews in the elderly
Although cashews have many benefits for any age, we are going to focus on four, especially interesting for the elderly. We start with the benefits on sight. This is thanks to its wealth in Vitamin E, a nutrient that is related to the protection of eye health.
It helps us to delay degenerative diseases, such as cataracts, to take care of the crystalline lens (the one responsible for our correct focus), and to prevent conjunctivitis. A diet rich in vitamin E has powerful benefits on your eyesight, although of course genetics, age, and daily habits play a big role as well.
The second of the benefits that we want to highlight of cashews is their ability to lower cholesterol levels. They are high in unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic and oleic.
Third, we highlight its ability to protect heart health, also due to these unsaturated fatty acids, but, in addition, we find a high presence of copper, a mineral that appears natural and that, among other benefits, helps the maintenance of blood vessels and the formation of red blood cells. In addition, copper also helps to better transport and assimilate other essential micronutrients for good health, such as iron or vitamin C, related to the prevention of anemia and the strengthening of the immune system, respectively.
The fourth and last benefit that we want to highlight in this article (although there are more) and that we see especially interesting for older people, is their high magnesium content. What is this for? This mineral helps the correct maintenance of the muscles, but it is also essential to enjoy a good rest. Insomnia, or sleeping for a few hours, is quite common in older people, something that conflicts with the body’s need to rest properly, which is why a diet rich in magnesium can help you achieve the goal of getting enough sleep.