Are Cashews Poisonous? Are they absolutely healthy to eat? Clear all your cashew related doubts in this detailed article!
Cashews we eat come from the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale), they’re not true nuts but seeds, growing at the end of the Cashew apple. These edible kernels are the main ingredient in various Southeastern Asian cuisines and are also famous as a protein-rich snack in Western countries.
What Are Cashews?
Cashews are not really nuts but seeds. They are seeds of a drupe or bean that grows at the bottom of the cashew apple, which is an accessory fruit (false fruit), growing in red to yellow color. Its pulp has various uses in Jellies, Jams and, Beverages.
The true fruit of the cashew tree, ‘drupe,’ emerges on the tree first after pedicles develop into cashew apples. The kernel has two shells or walls; the outer wall is smooth, thin, and a bit elastic. As the inner wall is harder, you need to break it to obtain the edible seed inside.
Are Cashews Poisonous?
Cashews are nutritious and boost health in many ways. But raw cashews contain Urushiol, which is also found in Poison ivy, and this is what makes this nut toxic. If someone ingests a high dose of urushiol, it can result in loss of life. Mostly, cashew poisoning is unusual. But it can be harmful to people who are in processing work, having physical contact with the shell frequently.
Furthermore, during the roasting process, the dry seeds of cashews pass through burning logs. It causes the outer shell to burst and emit toxic resin, which has adverse effects on eyes and skin. In other techniques, which is much safer than the previous method, the toxic components are eliminated in the roasting cylinders.
Note: Before purchasing raw cashews, ensure that they are not completely raw and have gone through the steaming process.
How To Grow Cashews?
Cashews thrive in warm growing conditions. You can grow them from seeds, grafting, and, air layering. They require moderate watering, fertilizing and full sunlight to thrive. To learn how to grow a cashew tree, check out our article.
Also Read: Growing Almonds.
Health Benefits of Cashews
You can harness the amazing cashew benefits by including them in your daily diet.
- Cashews are rich in Potassium, Folic Acid, and Vitamins, thus promoting good heart health.
- The heart-healthy fats of cashews make them perfect for making vegan cream.
- They have high Copper and Zinc content that promotes immune system functioning.
- Cashews are an excellent source of antioxidants, which helps repair cell damage.
- They are also rich in dietary fiber, and the limited consumption helps the body to digest food better.