Goa is famous for the production of cashew nuts. Whether roasted, salted or covered in chocolate, the cashew nut, often used as a flavorful complement to appetizers, main dishes and desserts, packs a mix of nutrients and minerals not found in many common foods.
Eighteen medium cashew nuts count as one serving (30 grams). Don’t have more than three servings per week, unless you need to gain weight – then you can add two more servings to your weekly intake.
While leaving Goa, go to a wholesale shop in any of the 5 major towns of Goa (Madgaon, Ponda, Vasco, Panjim or Mapuca) and buy packets to take back for your family or friends.
Here are the benefits of cashewnuts:
1. The cashew nut is jam-packed with nutritional content. It has 5 grams of protein per ounce and high levels of the essential minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese, which are utilized in holistic health solutions and healthy diets.
2. Cashew nuts have a high energy density and high amount of dietary fiber, both which have been attributed to a beneficial effect on weight management, but only when eaten in moderation
3. With no cholesterol, a rarity for such a tasty and pleasing treat, cashew nuts are a healthy fat food for heart patients. And because of their high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, they also help support healthy levels of low good cholesterol.
4. The cashew nut's high magnesium content also takes the credit for its healthy heart qualities. In their raw form, cashews contain 82.5 milligrams of magnesium per ounce, or 21 percent of the daily recommended value of the heart healthy mineral, which also protects against high blood pressure, muscle spasms, migraine headaches, tension, soreness and fatigue. Magnesium also works with calcium to support healthy muscles and bones in the human body.
5. With a high copper content cashew nut consumption helps the body utilize iron, eliminate free radicals, develop bone and connective tissue, and produce the skin and hair pigment melanin.
Copper, which is an essential component of the enzyme superoxide dismutase is vital in energy production and antioxidant defense, producing greater flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints.
6. Cashews have a beneficial effect on those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes. With 37.7 percent of the daily recommended value of monounsaturated fats, cashews can reduce triglyceride levels in diabetics, protecting them from further complications. Integrating frequent nut consumption into the diet, especially raw cashews, may lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
7. The cashew nut has been associated with a reduced risk of gallstone disease.
8. Chemicals in cashew nuts kill bacteria that cause tooth decay, acne, tuberculosis and leprosy. Eating cashew nuts at moderate levels can eliminate abscessed teeth.
9. The nuts contain good amount of zea-xanthin, an important flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes can provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions.
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