What are cashews?

Cashew nuts are the seeds of the Anacardium occidentale, a native tree species of Brazil. Currently the main producers of cashew nuts are India, Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria.


What are the nutritional properties of cashews?

100g of cashews provide 598 calories broken down as following:

  • 69% lipids
  • 21% carbohydrates
  • 10% protein

In particular, 100 grams of cashew nuts provide:

  • 3 g of water
  • 15 g of protein
  • 46 g of lipids
  • 27 g of monounsaturated fatty acids (including oleic acid)
  • 9 g of saturated fatty acids
  • 8 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid)
  • 9 g of soluble sugars
  • 3 g of fiber

Among vitamins and minerals, 100 g of cashews provide:

  • 1 mg of niacin
  • 0.2 mg of riboflavin
  • 0.2 mg of thiamine
  • 1 mg of vitamin E
  • 565 mg of potassium
  • 490 mg of phosphorus
  • 45 mg of calcium
  • 260 mg of magnesium
  • 16 mg of sodium
  • 6 mg of iron
  • 2 mg of copper
  • 6 mg of zinc
  • 12 micrograms of selenium
  • Manganese


When not to eat cashews?

Cashews can interfere with the action of antidiabetic drugs.


Seasonality of cashews

Cashews are generally available on the market throughout the year. However, they are collected at the end of the dry season in tropical areas in which they are cultivated.


Possible benefits and drawbacks of cashews

Cashew nuts are a source of fatty acids with a protective property against  cardiovascular diseases. They provide antioxidants that can in turn protect the health of the heart and arteries. Also copper can improve the antioxidant defenses, but is also an essential component of many enzymes and participates in energy production and development of bones, connective tissue and melanin in skin and hair. The consumption of cashews could also promote health of the bones due to the magnesium contained in these seeds. This further helps control nerve and muscle tone by fighting high blood pressure, muscle spasms, migraine, tension and fatigue.

Cashews also contain oxalates, which in high concentrations can promote the formation of stones. Therefore, their consumption could be contraindicated n cases of problems in the kidneys or gall bladder.