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Nutopia News 'N More

Check out our selection of nuts from right here in Oklahoma!!!

 Nutopia News 'N More 
Sunday, March 10 2013
The cashew tree is native to Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, which spread all over the world by Portuguese explorers. Today, it is cultivated commercially in Brazil, Vietnam, and India and in many African countries.

Cashew tree bears numerous, edible, pear shaped false fruits or “accessory fruits'” called "cashew apples." A small bean shaped, grey color “true-fruit” is firmly adhering to lower end of these cashew-apples appearing like a clapper in the bell. Botanically, this “true fruit” is a drupe, featuring hard outer shell enclosing a single edible seed or the “cashew nut.” The exterior shell composes a phenolic resin, urushiol, which is a potent caustic skin irritant toxin. In the processing units, this outer shell is roasted in order to destroy the urushiol resin, and then; the edible cashew kernel is extracted.

Cashew nut measures about an inch in length and 1/2 inches in diameter with kidney or bean shape, and smooth curvy pointed tip. Each nut has two equal halves as in legumes. The nuts are cream white color with the firm yet delicate texture and smooth surface. Cashews have buttery texture with a pleasant sweet fruity aroma.


Health benefits of Cashew nuts

  • Cashews are high in calories. 100 g of nuts provide 553 calories. They are packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous health-promoting phyto-chemicals that help protect from diseases and cancers.

  • They are rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

  • Cashew nuts are very rich source of essential minerals. Minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium are concentrated in these nuts. A handful of cashew nuts a day in the diet would provide enough of these minerals and prevent deficiency diseases. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidases, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulategrowth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis.

  • Cashews are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). 100 g nuts provide 0.147 mg or 32% of daily-recommended levels of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine reduces the risk of homocystinuria, and sideroblastic anemia. Niacin helps prevent "pellagra" or dermatitis. Additionally, these vitamins are essential for metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates at cellular levels.

  • Further, the nuts are also containing a small amount of zea-xanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes. It is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV ray filtering functions and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) in the elderly.



See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale),
Nutrition value per 100 g. 
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 553 Kcal 28%
Carbohydrates 30.19 g 23%
Protein 18.22 g 32.5%
Total Fat 43.85 g 146%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g 8.5%
Vitamins    
Folates 25 µg 6%
Niacin 1.062 mg 6.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.864 mg 17%
Pyridoxine 0.417 mg 32%
Riboflavin 0.058 mg 4.5%
Thiamin 0.423 mg 35%
Vitamin A 0 IU 0%
Vitamin C 0.5 mg 1%
Vitamin E 5.31 mg 35%
Vitamin K 4.1 µg 3%
Electrolytes    
Sodium 12 mg 1%
Potassium 660 mg 14%
Minerals    
Calcium 37 mg 4%
Copper 2.195 mg 244%
Iron 6.68 mg 83.5%
Magnesium 292 mg 73%
Manganese 1.655 mg 72%
Phosphorus 593 mg 85%
Selenium 19.9 µg 36%
Zinc 5.78 mg 52.5%
Phyto-nutrients    
Carotene-β 0 µg --
Crypto-xanthin-β 0 µg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 22 µg --

Selection and storage

Cashew nuts are available in the market year round. In the stores, only shelled cashew kernels are sold since the shell contains phenolic resin, urushiol, which is a potent skin irritant toxin.

Different forms of cashews are available; raw, salted, sweetened or ground...etc. Buy shelled nuts that are bright cream-white in color, compact, uniform in size and feel heavy in hand. They should be free from cracks, mold, and spots and free of rancid smell.

Store shelled nuts inside an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator in order to avoid them turn rancid. Under ideal conditions, fresh nuts should last for 5-6 months.























Culinary uses

Here are some serving tips:

cashew nut fried rice pineapple cashew quinoa stir-fry
Cashew nut fried rice with brussel sprouts and tomato.
(Photo: by waldopics)
Pineapple-cashew nut-quinoa stir-fry.
Photo courtesy: rusvaplauke
  • Cashews are eaten as a snack either on its own, salted or sweetened.

  • Cashews are nutty yet pleasantly sweet in taste. They are relished as a garnish in sweets and desserts.

  • Cashews, along with almonds and other dry fruits are being used in various rice dishes hyderbadi-biriyani, rice-pulao...etc, and in curry (kaaju-shahi-paneer) preparations in Indian, Pakistani, and Middle-Eastern regions.

  • Split or crushed cashew along with almonds, pistachio is often sprinkled over desserts, particularly sundaes, and other confectionary to enhance the flavor.

  • The nuts are widely used in confectionery, as an addition to biscuits, sweets and cakes.

  • "Cashew apples" are among popular fruits; eaten on their own in many regions around the world. They are also being used to prepare healthy drinks.


Safety profile

Cashew nut allergy is a common hypersensitivity condition in some individuals, especially in children. The reaction symptoms may range from simple skin itching (hives) to severe form anaphylactic manifestations, including breathing difficulty, pain abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The allergic manifestations are due to chemical compound anacardic acid (urushiol) that is present in cashew apples, shells, and nuts. Cross-reactions also occur with some other nuts and fruits of Anacardiaceae family such as mangopistachio, etc.

Individuals with known allergic reactions to cashew nut and fruit may observe caution while eating them. (Medical disclaimer).


For more information on this topic, visit the source of this article at http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cashew_nut.html

Posted by: Nutopia News N' More AT 12:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Nutopia Nuts 'N More/Deer Creek Market

109 W Main Street
Hydro, OK 73048
Phone: 405-663-2330 or 877-IGONUTS (877-446-6887)

Email: nutopianuts@gmail.com


 Nutopia Nuts N' More, formerly Johnson Peanut Company, has been serving Oklahoma and travelers on the historic Route 66 since 1942. In addition to peanuts, cashews, pecans, natural spanish peanut butter, candy and chocolates, we also offer assorted nut gift baskets and a corporate gift giving program. We are located in Hydro, OK but if you are not in the area you may also buy nuts online and experience why people come from all over the world for Nutopia Nuts.

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