Cashews are actually seeds from the fruit of the tropical tree called Anacardium occidentale that produces the bitter-tasting cashew apple. Cashews have been used in traditional medicine systems for centuries to heal various ailments, including poor heart health and diabetes. Due to their high nutrient density and supply of many vital minerals, cashews and other nuts are often recommended most often to improve heart health. Cashews are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and numerous other beneficial compounds, including plant-based protein; dietary fiber; minerals like copper, zinc and magnesium; plus antioxidants in the form of phytosterols and phenolic compounds. Cashews are primarily made up of unsaturated fats in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs that contain oleic acid) plus a smaller proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS mostly in the form of linoleic acid). Roughly 62 percent of the cashew’s fats are monounsaturated fat, 18 percent polyunsaturated fats and the rest a mix of saturated fats. Organic cashews are a great nutritional addition to the diet because they are rich in essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. A great mineral source, cashews contain 31% of the daily recommended value for copper, along with 23% for manganese, 20% for magnesium and 17% for phosphorus, add to that 12% of the daily recommended value for vitamin K.
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