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I learnt something new today. I already knew they were very healthy and very versatile little things, but I didn’t know exactly how they grew. Cashews come from a fruit called the cashew apple, they are a funny looking little combination of fruit with the little nut attached at the bottom. The nut is enclosed in a shell, and they must be shelled as the inside of the shell contains a caustic resin.
Just a quarter of a cup of cashews contains 98% of the RDI for copper, which plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin.
That same quarter of a cup has 29% of your RDI of magnesium. You might have read a few weeks ago when we talked about the importance of magnesium in maintaining good bowel health, but magnesium is also vital in healthy bones.
Magnesium is well known to help with muscle cramps, it works by balancing the calcium and preventing calcium from rushing into the nerve cell. This rushing in is what causes the excessive contraction in cramps, but also could cause things like migraines, high blood pressure and heart muscles and airway spasms.
I love cashews not only because of their health benefits, but their versatility. Regular customer of ours will know we use them in soups, to provide a creaminess that is almost like dairy. But in my own home I used cashews as a flour replacement. Just using the blender to grind them up and put them in your muffins, banana breads and slices. They will produce a consistency that is a lot more moist than normal, but gluten free and delicious.