Cashew tree Facts

Cashew tree Facts
Cashew tree is a close relative of mango, pistachio nut and poison ivy. This plant originates from northeastern parts of Brazil, where it lives as a part of tropical rainforests. Cashew tree was discovered and transported to the other parts of the world thanks to Portuguese explorers. Cashew tree is very popular and often cultivated plant in India, Vietnam and Africa. Cashew is best known for its fruit - cashew nuts. Besides that, compounds isolated from cashew tree have application in chemical industry, production of alcoholic beverages and in the folk medicine.
Interesting Cashew tree Facts:
Cashew tree is tropical evergreen plant that can reach 20 to 46 feet in height.
Cashew tree has green, elliptical, leathery leaves that are spirally arranged on the branches.
Cashew tree produces flowers arranged in multi-branched inflorescence called panicle. Tree produces three types of flowers: male, female and mixed (flowers that contain both type of reproductive organs). Flowers are initially green, but they become red after some time. Bats and insects are main pollinators of flowers.
Cashew nuts are the "true" fruit of the cashew trees. They are located on the bottom of the "false" fruit called cashew apple. Cashew nuts are protected with hard shell. Nuts are bean-shaped and one inch long.
Cashew apples are also edible. They are mostly consumed in the South America, where people eat them raw or in the form of delicious drinks.
Cashew nuts are commercially available without shell because it contains compound (anacardic acid) which induces skin irritation.
Anacardic acid, isolated from the shell of cashew nuts, has application in the chemical industry for the production of insecticides and varnishes.
Cashew nuts are rich source of the vitamins of the B group and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus and copper. They also contain high level of monounsaturated-fatty acids, which are beneficial for the human health.
Cashew nuts are usually consumed raw as a snack, or in the form of butter. Besides that, cashew nuts are integral part of different sweet and salty dishes in Indian, Chinese and Thailand cuisine.
Due to high content of fat, cashew nuts easily become rancid at a room temperature. That's why they should be stored in the fridge.
According to the latest medical studies, cashew nuts can prevent development of gallstones and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They act beneficially in people diagnosed with diabetes.
Cashew nuts, like many other types of nuts, may trigger severe allergic reaction in sensitive persons.
Hard shell of cashew nuts is used in treatment of snakebites in some parts of the world.
The greatest producer of cashew nuts in the world is Nigeria. It produces more than 1.9 metric tons of cashew nuts annually.
Cashew tree is able to live and produce nuts more than 30 years.

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