Cashews are actually seeds found on the bottom of a fruit called a cashew apple, which is native to northern Brazil. Because cashews are seeds, some people who are allergic to nuts are able to tolerate them. The nutrition in cashews comes from abundant minerals like copper and magnesium and includes oleic acid, which is a healthy, monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil. The vitamins in cashews take a back seat to their abundant minerals like copper and magnesium, but cashews do contain some vitamins. The health benefits of cashews are fully matched by their silky texture and delicate flavor.
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According to the researchers at Ohio State University, folate is a water-soluble vitamin that helps your body make red blood cells. It also helps to form the genetic material inside every cell of your body. Folate is especially important for pregnant woman, because it helps prevent neural tube defects. Leafy green vegetables are the best source of folate, though cashews do contain a small amount.
Vitamin K gets its name from the German word for the process of blood clotting: “koagulation.” Several of the proteins necessary for this process require vitamin K to function properly. According to the experts at the Linus Pauling Institute, severe vitamin K deficiency can lead to trouble clotting, increased bruising and nosebleeds. Olive, canola and soybean oils, along with dark green vegetables are the best sources of vitamin K, but cashews contain some.
Biotin, also knows as vitamin H, is one of the B complex of vitamins. Biotin is needed for healthy eyes, hair, liver, nails and skin. B vitamins like biotin help your body convert food into fuel, as well as aiding in the metabolizing of fats and protein. Cashews contain small amounts of biotin compared to other sources. The University of Maryland Medical center advises that better sources of biotin include bananas, brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, cooked eggs, legumes, mushrooms, sardines and whole grains.
Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin
Trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin—known respectively as vitamins B1, B2 and B3—can be found in cashews. Like biotin, these B complex vitamins help your body to process carbohydrates, fats and proteins, turning them into the glucose which fuels your body.