Believe it or not: Cashew nuts grow out of apples
Looking for the perfect food to complement your new outfit? In that case, snack on some cashews. As the most fashionable nut known to man, cashews grow out of a delicate, sweet, apple-like ornament referred to as an “accessory fruit”. Mental Floss called it the “handbag to this outfit”. The part that most of us eat, is the tiny, kidney-shaped cashew nuts (technical seeds) that grow out from the bottom of the adorable little satchel.
The apple part is also edible. In Spanish, they are called “Maranon” and they are sometimes used to make juices or jams and even are turned into a liquor called, Fenny. In Indian cooking, they add sweetness to a curry. The composition of these apples is delicate and in many places, they are only fed to livestock because they fall apart so easily. The history of the apple can show us some insight at how this possibly came to be.
Purdue University tells us that cashews grow naturally in northeast Brazil. In the 16th century, Portuguese explorers introduced the plant to Mozambique and coastal India. They were planted along the coast to stop soil erosion. The plant eventually spread like wildfire making its way to east Africa and northern South America, Central America, and the West Indies.
Brazil has a highly developed, cashew nut processing industry. The production and processing can be challenging since these Cashew nuts grow out of apples. The apple or outer shell is filled with a toxic oil.
Still, cashews offer a number of potential health benefits:
- They are rich in healthy, unsaturated fats.
- Eating a handful of them at least 5 times per week can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 to 50%.
- They are a low-Glycemic index carbohydrate which means they can help to manage blood glucose levels and insulin levels. They may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Although they are high in fat, research has found that those who eat Cashews tend to have a healthier BMI. They may help you in maintaining a healthier weight.
- Cashews are a great source of plant protein, iron, and zinc making them a great dietary supplement for vegetarians.
- They are a great source of magnesium which is important for bone health.
- Cashews are a substantial source of copper which helps the body to use iron and is important for nerve function, bone growth, and glucose metabolism.
- Last but not least they are naturally low in food chemicals that some may be intolerant to. They are recommended for those following an elimination diet.
As you can see Cashews are as attractive on the outside as they are on the inside. They even seem to have some “fashion sense” to accompany all of their other unique benefits. You can buy them in bulk at Wholesale Nuts and Dried Fruit to snack on or incorporate into your cooking. Order them at this link.