Longevity's Best Kept Secret; Cashew Nuts
World’s Healthiest Foods, whfoods.org, defined cashew nuts as seeds that adhere to the bottom of a cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree. Cashews are native in the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil, and are regarded as delicacies in both Brazil and the Caribbean. The cashew seed is a kidney-shaped nut with a delicate flavor and a firm, but slightly spongy texture. Cashews are among the best longevity promoting foods you can eat.
Cashews in the shell are not available in stores, due to the inside of the shells containing caustic resin, otherwise known as cashew balm, which must be carefully removed before the cashew is safe for consumption.
Due to their high content of oleic acid, cashews are more stable than most other nuts, but should still be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for best preservation. If stored correctly, cashews can be kept for about six months in the fridge, or up to one year in the freezer. Cashew butter should always be refrigerated once it has been opened.
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Cashew Nut Nutrition Profile - What's in them?
Although cashews are low in fiber, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Vitamins E, K, and B6, and minerals such as selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper, are all essential in maintaining balance in brain and body function.
Helps digestion – Cashew nuts aid in growth and development, synthesis of nucleic acids, and digestion.
Maintains blood health – To help the body form and utilize red blood cells, the iron and copper found in cashews work together. Therefore, cashews keep bones, the immune system, nerves, and blood vessels healthy and functioning properly.
Aids in weight loss – Two daily servings of nuts is helpful in fighting cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Eating two daily servings is an excellent way to manage weight and lower the build-up of cholesterol in the heart.
Eye health – Yes, carrots are good for the eyes, but surprisingly, cashews are too! When consumed regularly, the high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants, benefit the brain and body. These compounds protect the eyes from light damage and lower the risks of developing cataracts.
The Use of Coconut Butter For Brain & Body
In his article “Ask The Diet Doctor”, Mike Roussell describes what is known as coconut butter. Coconut butter is composed of pureed, raw coconut meat. This includes not only the oil, as it is not made exclusively of fat. A tablespoon of coconut butter gives 2 grams of fiber, as well as some iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Peanut butter is a treat, not to be used in cooking. It has a thick texture and can be used as a replacement for actual butter. It can also be used in smoothies or as a topping for berries. Try to find the alternative peanut butters that aren’t loaded with added sugar. Trust us, they still taste great, and more natural.
Coconut butter has a lot of health advantages over ordinary butter. A lot of health experts view its fat profile as a magical, metabolism-boosting health elixir. It contains unique and healthful nutritional profiles. Coconut butter is high in calories, however, so it also must be consumed in moderation if caloric restriction is how you want to lose weight.
How does coconut butter differ from coconut oil?
According to Health Line, coconut oil is made from coconut meat that is cold-pressed. In room temperature, coconut oil is solid in form, and becomes liquid when subjected to heat. It has mild to medium intensity in flavor and odor. Coconut oil contains many of the same benefits albeit a slightly different fat and nutrient profile.
On the other hand, coconut butter as mentioned above, is like the peanut butter of the tropics. It is made from pureed coconut meat and includes the oil. At room temperature it is solid but spreadable and when heated, it softens. The outcome is a spread with a strong coconut odor and flavor.
Coconut butter is derived from a whole coconut and has saturated fats, about 10 grams per tablespoon. It also contains nutrients that coconut oil does not, mainly fiber. In fact, a tablespoon of coconut butter has 2 grams of dietary fiber.
Nutrients found in coconut butter include protein, magnesium, potassium and iron.
Here are some health benefits of coconut butter as enumerated by The Women’s Fitness.
- It is rich in lauric acid that helps boost immune system and fights harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Increases metabolism that helps in weight loss and elevated energy levels in the body.
- Packed with healthy kinds of fats which gives a feeling of satiety.
- Contains essential amino acids such as magnesium, calcium.
What Does the Percentage on Dark Chocolate Bars Mean?
There are many people who are confused about the percentage found in chocolate bars. Generally, it indicates how much, by weight, is obtained from pure cocoa beans.
Alice Medrich of Business Insider UK, said, “Call it cocoa or cacao, the percentage on a chocolate bar tells you how much of the bar, by weight, is made from pure cacao beans, or parts thereof—such as cocoa butter (the fat portion of the bean), often added to make chocolate creamier, or, in some very specialized cases, cocoa solids (the non-fat part of the bean). The latter is used to increase flavor intensity in bars designed for chefs. In other words: beans + any extra parts of beans = cacao or cocoa percentage.”
As a general indicator, the percentage used is chocolate flavor intensity versus sweetness. The higher the percentage, the more intense and less sweet the chocolate: dark chocolate labeled 50% will be far sweeter than a 70% bar.
Cocoa is considered one of the best tasting superfoods and makes our list of the Top 15 Superfoods You Need to Know About and with good reason we used pure cocoa to flavor our herbal nootropic blend, Momental Mind.
In bars of dark chocolate with the simple ingredients of cocoa beans, parts of cocoa beans, sugar, and tiny amounts of optional vanilla and lecithin—the percentage on the label also gives you the sugar content a 70% bar contains about 30% sugar, and a 55% bar contains about 45% sugar. If there is no percentage on the label it’s safe to say there is a lot more sugar than cacao.
Health Line explained how dark chocolate is derived. Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to cocoa. It differs from milk chocolate in that it contains little to no milk solids. It also goes by other common names, including bittersweet and semisweet chocolate. These differ slightly in sugar content, but can be used interchangeably in cooking and baking.
In addition, the simplest way to know if the chocolate is "dark" or not, is to select one with a cocoa content of 70% or higher. Dark chocolate is well known for its powerful antioxidant activity. In fact, it has been shown to have a greater antioxidant effect than many high-antioxidant fruits including blueberries and acai berries. Observational studies have also linked eating dark chocolate with a reduced risk of heart disease and improved brain function.
Nootropic Dark Chocolate and Cashew Nuts Fat Bombs
¼ cup coconut butter
2 scoops Momental Mind nootropic
¼ cup ghee
¼ cup dark chocolate bars 85% fat
1 teaspoon cashew nut butter
2 tablespoons roasted cashew nuts
- In a microwaveable bowl, put in all the ingredients, except for the roasted cashew nuts.
- Heat in the microwave for a minute. Mix well with a rubber spatula to even out the heat all throughout the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into molds, add the roasted cashew nuts and allow to harden.
- Refrigerate and eat. Should be solid within 15 minutes, depending on your fridge temp.