The cashew tree is related to the mango, pistachio, and poison ivy. This plant is native to northeastern Brazil, where it thrives in tropical rainforests. The cashew tree was discovered and spread throughout the world thanks to Portuguese explorers. The cashew tree is a popular and widely grown plant in India, Vietnam, and Africa. Cashews are best known for their fruit, cashew nuts. Furthermore, compounds isolated from the cashew tree have applications in the chemical industry, the production of alcoholic beverages, and folk medicine.
Interesting facts about Cashew Tree:
The cashew tree is a tropical evergreen plant that can grow to be 20 to 46 feet tall.
The green, elliptical, leathery leaves of the cashew tree are spirally arranged on the branches.
The flowers of the cashew tree are arranged in a panicle, which is a multi-branched inflorescence. Male, female, and mixed flowers are produced by the tree (flowers that contain both type of reproductive organs). Flowers are initially green, but after a while, they turn red. Flowers are pollinated primarily by bats and insects.
The “true” fruit of cashew trees is cashew nuts. They are found at the base of the “false” fruit known as cashew apple. Cashew nuts have a hard shell that protects them. Nuts are one inch long and bean-shaped.
Cashew apples can also be eaten. They are primarily consumed in South America, where they are eaten raw or in the form of delectable drinks.
Cashew nuts are sold without the shell because they contain a compound (anacardic acid) that causes skin irritation.
Anacardic acid, isolated from the shell of cashew nuts, is used in the chemical industry to make insecticides and varnishes.
Cashew nuts are high in B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. They also have a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial to human health.
Cashew nuts are typically eaten raw as a snack or as butter. Furthermore, cashew nuts are used in a variety of sweet and salty dishes in Indian, Chinese, and Thai cuisine.
Cashew nuts are easily rancid at room temperature due to their high fat content. That is why they should be kept in the refrigerator.
According to the most recent medical research, cashew nuts can help prevent gallstones and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. They have a positive effect on people who have diabetes.
Cashew nuts, like many other types of nuts, can cause severe allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them.
In some parts of the world, the hard shell of cashew nuts is used to treat snakebites.
Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts. It produces over 1.9 metric tons of cashew nuts per year.
The cashew tree can live and produce nuts for more than 30 years.