Cashew, the edible seed or nut of ancacardium occidentale, a polygamus Tropical and sub-tropical evergreen was first discovered by the Spanish explorers in the region known as state of maranhao in Northern Brazil. The name cashew comes from the Tupi-India tribe of Brazil “acaju”. In the 15th century the Portuguese missionaries brought the cashew to east Africa and to India and believed to have planted as a Wind breaker and prevent soil erosion. Cashew played an important part in the diet of the original Indian inhabitants of the region where Cashew was first discovered. Thus we can assume the Portuguese who Planted cashew trees in East Africa and in India were already aware of the importance of cashew as an edible nut.
It has been proved that nuts in general provide more than twice the energy furnished by meat and fish. They are also richer in proteins.
Cashews are rich in essential amino acids also. The fat profile of cashew nuts would be in the ratio Saturated:Monosaturated:Polysaturated 1:2:1; which is most ideal for human consumption.
Cashews are a good source of minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous. It has also been noted that cashews provide more of the essential trace elements like iron, copper and zinc than all other nuts. These minerals in their organic form protect our physical health and nervous system.
Cashews are excellent dietary supplements in the human diet especially in lactating women, pregnancy, children and convalascing patients. Protein is present in abundance and that too of a good quality. Cashews provide a rich blend of minerals and water soluble vitamins. The fat content of cashew makes it an energy rich food and the fatty acid profile makes it ideal for human consumption.