16 Jun 2021: #HealthBytes: Like cashews? Here are some lesser-known health benefits
Cashew nut trees are native to Brazil but have been cultivated all over the world. Like most nuts, cashews have several health benefits and can be easily tweaked into dishes. In addition, they are also used as an alternative to dairy products in the form of cashew milk, cashew-based cheese, and cream. Here, we cover the various health benefits of cashews.
Eyes: Contains zeaxanthin and lutein that protect the eyes
Just like the skin, our eyes are exposed to pollutants and sun rays, which can cause eye infections, damage to the retina, etc. Interestingly, cashews are loaded with a powerful antioxidant called zeaxanthin that is directly absorbed by our retina and protects it from harmful UV rays. It also contains lutein, a type of vitamin that is anti-inflammatory and inhibits the growth of cataracts.
Weight loss: Have fewer calories and may aid in weight loss
While cashews and other nuts were traditionally associated with increased calories, recent studies prove that a nuts-rich diet is more effective for weight loss than a nuts-free diet. It has also been understood that raw cashews have fewer calories than roasted cashews. This is because most of the fat is present in the cashew's fibrous wall that is absorbed when ground or roasted.
Skin: Cashew nut oil is excellent for the skin
Cashew nut oil is rich in minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorous, improving the skin's complexion and preventing wrinkles. They also have a high percentage of selenium that prevents the damage caused by free radicals on the skin. In addition, selenium reduces the risk of life-threatening diseases caused by harmful free radicals like cancer, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.
Hair: Contains copper that is important for shiny hair
The copper present in cashew oil aids in the production of melanin, which is found in skin and hair. This helps in enhancing the color of the hair and prevents premature greying. The oil also contains healthy amounts of linoleic and oleic acids that stimulate hair growth and form a barrier to avoid water loss from the hair. It gives you shiny, lustrous manes.
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