Nutty delight

It is highly nutritious when eaten in small quantities

The cashew is a tree in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The plant is native to north-eastern Brazil, where it is called by its Portuguese name Caju (the fruit) or Cajueiro (the tree). Originally spread from Brazil by the Portuguese, the cashew tree today can be found in all regions with a sufficiently warm and humid climate. Vietnam is now the largest producer of cashew nuts.Most cashew nuts labelled "raw cashew nuts" are not truly raw. They have been heat processed in order to remove the delicious nut from the toxic shell. In the 16th Century, Portuguese traders introduced it to India where it has more recently become an important export crop. Cashew trees produce both a fruit (apple) and a nut, and valuable oil can be drawn from the nutshell. Cashew provides essential fatty acids, B vitamins, fibre, protein, carbohydrate, potassium, iron and zinc. Cashew is high in saturated fat. Eaten in small quantities, it is highly nutritious. It has useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper. It also helps prevent anaemia. N. GOPI

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