The Cashew Banana Smoothie

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The cashew banana smoothie is a protein packed energy smoothie perfect for post workouts.

The Cashew Banana Smoothie Recipe

  • 1.5 Cups Almond Milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/4 Cup Caju Wood Fire Roasted Cashews
  • 1 Table Spoon Flax Seeds
  • 1 Dash of Cinnamon

Preparation

Put each ingredient into a blender, blend until smooth and cashews are completely pulverized. Pour into a glass and add an extra dash of cinnamon to the top. Enjoy!

exercise and eat healthy

Pantothenic Acid and Your Body

Cashews: Tasty Little Gems Carrying Essential Minerals of Life

 Cashews naturally come with many vitamins and minerals in them. They are a great on-the-go snack since they are packed to the brim with essential nutrients your body needs. One of these vital nutrients is called Pantothenic Acid, which is otherwise known as the Vitamin B-5. Pantothenic Acid can be found in the living cells of all life forms and is used for various chemical reactions throughout the body. As the Micronutrient Information Center of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University says, “Pantothenic acid is a component of coenzyme A (CoA), an essential coenzyme in a variety of reactions that sustain life. CoA is required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fat, carbohydrates, and proteins). The synthesis of essential fats, cholesterol, and steroid hormones requires CoA…” (Higdon)

The key phrase in this quote is: an essential coenzyme in a variety of reactions that sustain life. So quite clearly, pantothenic acid is something everyone should be concerned about getting in their diet.

Pantothenic Acid and Your Body

 Pantothenic acid is a water soluble vitamin. This means your body is unable to store it, so in order for the body to get enough, it must ingest it. Since the body doesn’t store it, the vitamin should be eaten in foods daily. When the body gets more pantothenic acid than it can use, it merely releases the excess in the urine. This is why the vitamin needs to be eaten daily, to ensure your body is performing to its best possible ability with the proper vitamins it needs.

While pantothenic acid helps to turn food into energy, it also helps the body in many other ways. Pantothenic acid encourages red blood cell production, a healthy digestive tract, and healthy hair, skin, eyes, and liver. Having enough pantothenic acid in your diet is evident in how you look on the outside, but can also help with how you feel on the inside. When something is so important to the body, it makes sense to add it to your daily diet to make sure you’re getting everything your body needs.

A Good Source for Pantothenic Acid

 There are a variety of foods that have pantothenic acid in them, such as egg yolks, broccoli and sweet potatoes, to name a few. However, cashews are an excellent source for getting your daily intake of pantothenic acid, and cashews deliver additional vital nutrients your body needs at the same time. Not to mention, cashews are much more convenient than many of the other foods it’s found in. They don’t need to be cooked like eggs do, they don’t taste better when they are steamed like broccoli, and they don’t need to be baked in the oven like sweet potatoes. And unlike these other foods, cashews are very convenient and you can stash them in convenient places like your car or desk at work.

The Perfect Treat

Nuts have always been a part of a healthy diet, and cashews top the list. Our cashews don’t come in broken up pieces like many brands, but in the whole nut and they are large in size. Their taste is exceptional and they offer the right amount of pantothenic acid your body needs. Since they are so portable, it’s easy to keep them on hand wherever you might be for a quick snack or to add to many delicious dishes. Adding pantothenic acid to your daily diet ensures your body will be functioning at peak performance for all its daily functions, resulting in beautiful hair, nails, and skin. This in turn can give you that healthy glow that so many people are looking for. Not to mention, you’ll feel great!

References

Higdon, Jane. “Coenzyme A.” Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University, n.d. Web. 27 Mar 2014. <http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/pa/>.

Caju tasty cashews

Right Cashews to Choose

The Right Cashews to Choose

For the past few years, the big debate between conventionally grown foods and organically grown foods has been getting a lot of attention. Many people have jumped on the organic bandwagon, but plenty of people still believe conventionally grown foods are fine. Before anyone can make an informed decision about these foods, it’s important to know and understand the difference, and how they can each affect your health.

Conventionally Grown Foods

Conventional growing methods use several techniques when it comes to farming. They attempt to promote plant and tree growth by using man made chemical fertilizers. They also use synthetic sprays to get rid of pests or diseases the plants and trees have on them or in an attempt to keep them from starting to begin with. In order to minimize weeds, they use herbicides to manage them and keep them at bay.

When it comes to animals that produce meat products, they are given numerous types of drugs including: antibiotics, medications to prevent disease (even when there may be none present), and growth hormones. The animals are often housed in cramped conditions and not allowed out of their pens, which can become a breeding ground for diseases.

The problem with these methods is the wide array of chemicals they use can get into and stay in the food source. If you’re eating a cashew that was conventionally grown, you’re most likely eating chemicals and herbicides that were sprayed on or near it, and that just isn’t good for your body.

Organically Grown Foods

 Organic foods are grown much differently than conventionally grown foods. For instance, organic farmers don’t use chemical fertilizers, instead, they use either a type of compost or manure to feed the plants and trees. Instead of spraying synthetic insecticides they use methods such as mating disruption and traps to rid the growing area of pests. In an effort to keep weeds away, they use environmentally friendly compounds to kill them, they rotate crops, and use mulch. All of these techniques are equally as successful as the chemical pesticides and herbicides that conventional growers use.

Animals themselves are given organic feed and they are raised in a more humane way, with the ability to graze outside. Their housing is kept clean and they are fed a balanced diet in an effort to avoid disease.

Organically Grown Cashews

Like any other type of food, cashews can hold onto chemicals and pesticides they have been exposed to. This isn’t beneficial to your body and many people think eating non-organic foods cause humans to get diseases they wouldn’t otherwise get. According to the American Cancer Society, “Examples include growth hormones or antibiotics used in animal farming, small amounts of pesticides and herbicides in plant-based foods, and compounds such as bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates that enter food from packaging. Some of these compounds are not known to directly cause cancer, but they may influence cancer risk in other ways – for example, by acting as hormone-like substances in the body.” (“Food additives, safety, and organic foods”) When substances replicate how our hormones act, it can cause great damage to the body and long term health  issues.

The Right Cashew

So when you’re searching for the perfect snack or recipe ingredient, it would be better for your health to choose organic, no matter the food choice. When it comes to cashews, it’s no different. If you’re concerned about your health and feeding your body the highest quality food available, organic is the way to go. Our tasty, organic cashews are the perfect food without any chemicals or pesticides to interrupt your system.

References

“Food Additives, safety, and organic foods.” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, 01 Jan 2012. Web. 26 Mar 2014. <.

 

heart of cashews

Cashews and Cancer Prevention

Cashews and Cancer Prevention: A Positive Outlook

 Cashews have long been known to have numerous vitamins and minerals the body needs. While this is beneficial to anyone’s health, there is even more potentially great news about cashews. Studies are showing that beta sitosterol, which is found in the nut, may contain cancer fighting abilities.

Scientists have known for years that a plant based diet, including cashews, is a great way to help prevent cancer. Now, studies are showing that beta sitosterol may just be the perfect thing for cancer patients and those who want to avoid cancer to begin with. According to a study done, “They have been shown experimentally to inhibit colon and breast cancer development. They act at various stages of tumor development, including inhibition of tumorigenesis, inhibition of tumor promotion, and induction of cell differentiation. They effectively inhibit invasion of tumor cells and metastasis. With regard to toxicity, no obvious side effects of phytosterols have been observed in studies to date, with the exception of individuals with phytosterolemia.” (Ovesna) What this study suggests is that cashews can help to fight two of the most common cancers we are seeing in today’s society.

So not only do cashews taste great, but they are loaded with vitamins and minerals the body needs, and also beta sitosterol which has been shown in studies to help prevent cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, “the chances of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her life is about 1 in 8.” (American Cancer Society) Breast cancer is the second leading cancer which causes death in women.

Colorectal (Colon) cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and in women.” (“Colorectal (Colon) Cancer”) So if beta sitosterol can help to fight cancer, it makes perfect sense to add cashews which contain it, into the diet.

How Beta Sitosterol Works

 Scientists have found that best sitosterol works by helping to reduce LDL cholesterol levels because it prevents the body from absorbing too much of it. It has also been found to join to the prostate which helps to alleviate inflammation which can cause men to have difficulty urinating (due to an enlarged prostate).

Other Benefits of Beta Sitosterol

 Beta sitosterol is also used for numerous common ailments. It has been prescribed for heart disease and also high cholesterol. It has the ability to give the immune system a boost to help prevent the common cold and the flu, and it’s also beneficial for  rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, allergies, asthma, and even hair loss.

As new evidence comes out about the benefits of beta sitosterol, we can likely expect more studies to emerge. There may be additional diseases and ailments it fights which we don’t even know about yet.

An Easy Way to Prevent Disease

 While it may not always be easy to completely change your diet, there are little things you can do to help every day. Eating organic cashews can help to fight off diseases which are common, and help to increase health. Since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, and the ever impressive beta sitosterol, they’re a great idea for a daily snack. These convenient, great tasting nuts are easy to incorporate into diet – all you need to do is twist off the cap to one of our convenient jars.

References

Ovesna, Z. “Taraxasterol and beta-sitostero: new naturally compounds with chemoprotective/chemopreventative effects..” Pub Med. US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 27 Mar 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640948>.

 “How Many Women Get Breast Cancer?.” The American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society, 31 Jan 2014. Web. 27 Mar 2014. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/overviewguide/breast-cancer-overview-key-statistics>.

“Colorectal (Colon) Cancer.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Oct 2013. Web. 27 Mar 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/>.

bag of raw cashews

Cashews – The Potassium Link

Cashews – The Potassium Link

 In order for the body to function properly, it needs the mineral potassium. Potassium helps the nerves and muscles of the body communicate. It can also help with preventing negative effects on a body which has high levels of sodium, effecting blood pressure. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Potassium is a mineral that, among other things, helps your muscles contract, helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of body cells and helps maintain normal blood pressure by blunting the effect of sodium. Potassium may also reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones and possibly bone loss as we get older.” (It’s About Eating Right”)

When the body gets enough of the potassium it needs, it is able to perform necessary functions and it also reduces the risk of issues to the body later in life. So it’s pretty important to have a diet with plenty of potassium in it. The good news is, potassium is found in cashews, which are one of the best tasting nuts you can buy.

The Sodium and Potassium Link

 According to the Department of Health & Human Services, “Nearly all Americans eat too much salt (sodium). Most of the salt comes from eating processed foods (75%), or adding salt to food while cooking and using the salt shaker at meals (5% to 10%). On average, the more salt a person eats, the higher his or her blood pressure. Eating less salt is an important way to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which may in turn reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and kidney damage. To reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, eat less processed food and use less salt while cooking and at the table.” (“Sodium and Potassium”)

For people who eat too much sodium, high blood pressure is a problem. High blood pressure is known in the medical world as ‘hypertension’. But what can high blood pressure do to a body? According to The Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure can do damage to your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. It can also cause sexual dysfunction, bone loss, and cause trouble sleeping. (“High blood pressure dangers: Hypertensions effect’s on your body”)

Let’s take a look at just one of these organs – the brain. Hypertension causes problems which can be hard to counteract once they are in place. The brain needs a vast supply of blood for it to work properly. When hypertension is in place, it can cause a transient ischemic attack, also known as a TIA, which is like a mini stroke and often a clue that a true stroke is on the way. According to the Mayo Clinic, “A stroke occurs when part of your brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke by damaging and weakening your brain’s blood vessels, causing them to narrow, rupture or leak. High blood pressure can also cause blood clots to form in the arteries leading to your brain, blocking blood flow and potentially causing a stroke.” (“High blood pressure dangers: Hypertensions effect’s on your body”)

Hypertension can also cause dementia which can cause problems with the thought process, reasoning, memory, and vision. It also leads to mild cognitive impairment. So when you look at just one of these issues, it’s important to understand the benefits of eating a healthy diet, with foods that have potassium in them, such as cashews.

Diet Changes – Easier than You Think

 Many people eat fast food as a convenience. Whether you’re working late at the office and need a quick bite to eat or are a mom on the go, taking kids to and from school and practice, many people stop for fast food. There are fast food restaurants on every corner, beaconing with their neon lights and dollar menus. But changing your diet and getting away from fast food doesn’t need to be hard.

One way to accomplish this would be to keep healthy snacks around for when those cravings hit, snacks such as nutrient rich cashews. In addition to potassium, they have copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Your body needs all of these and it’s easy to carry cashews around. They are portable and can be kept easily in your car for those moments when you’re tempted to eat what you know you shouldn’t. Giving your body healthy cashews is easy, and can help to keep it in top working condition for years to come.

References

 “It’s About Eating Right.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, n.d. Web. 31 Mar 2014. <http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6801>.

 “Sodium and Potassium.” Health Facts. Department of Health & Human Services. Web. 31 Mar 2014. <http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/food/pdfs/hhs_facts_sodium.pdf>.

“High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension’s effects on your body.” Diseases and Conditions. The Mayo Clinic, 12 Feb 2014. Web. 31 Mar 2014. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20045868>.

Caju Bowl of Cashews

Five Reasons to Choose Organic Cashews

Five Reasons to Choose Organic Cashews

If you follow the developing trends in the food world, you will see that a lot of people are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of an organic, whole food, and diverse diet. This is something that many are thankful for because it is a sign that the days of “extremes” are coming to an end, with people willingly dropping all of the carbohydrates or fat from their diets in order to enjoy “healthy eating”.

This has been something going on for far too long, and cutting out any major nutrients and food groups is the polar opposite of healthy eating. Rather, a truly health diet is one that is striving towards a balance of healthy foods from all of the various “groupings” and categories.

Naturally, it can be tough to accomplish the balancing act when you are faced with information overload. This is part of the appeal of the developing trends in whole and organic foods. Why? If you make an effort to purchase foods that are not processed and which are not loaded with added (and often unhealthy and unnecessary) ingredients, it does make life a lot easier.

When you take things one step further, and look for organic foods, you know that they have been produced outside of the usual “factory” route. This means no chemicals, small batches harvested when ripe, and much higher quality.

This alone is a reason to choose an organic and whole food diet, but there are many other benefits and reasons for it. Let’s use organic nuts as a good illustration for a whole food and organic way of life.

Five Reasons Organic Cashews Provide Healthy Eating

We already understand that organic and whole foods tend to be of a much higher quality. If your goal is healthy eating, you do have to give a lot of attention to the quality of the foods you purchase and eat. This is due to many things, but nutrient content is one of the most significant. (Sumner)

If we use organic cashews as an illustration of this, we’ll hit on five very significant issues or facts:

  1. When you find a good source of organic cashews, it is likely that they will have been produced in small batches and handled with utmost care;
  2. Organic cashews tend to come from smaller farms – and that means that they are not blended with nuts of lesser quality during the packaging process;
  3. Smaller batches can be hand sorted and roasted under ideal conditions;
  4. The taste of organic nuts will be far superior to nuts grown and harvested under factory farming conditions; and
  5. All of these previous issues contribute to the overall taste and nutrient quality of the cashews, with organic nuts always providing the best in nutrient density and healthy fats.

Now, let’s look at each of these points one by one in order to really understand how organic foods (and cashews in particular) should be on everyone’s lists of healthy foods to eat.

Small Batches

Because we are looking at organic cashews, we will consider our very own Caju Company and our line of organic cashews. We buy strictly from small farms in Vietnam. This is because we want consistency in taste (any food grown in a specific region will usually have a regional “flavor), but it is also because we need to be sure of the quality of every crop.

By nurturing the small farms, our firm is ensuring that we will provide their customers with healthy foods that have received human attention every step of the way.

No Blends and Hand Sorted

When you purchase a can of non-organic cashews from a grocery store shelf, it is going to have nuts from several areas of the world. They are not often “graded” for color, size, shape, etc. Instead, they are roasted with oil and salt to mask whatever natural flavors they have (good or bad) and tossed together in a mixture of poor to mid grade cashews.

This is done for a few reasons, and none of them relate to the satisfaction of the consumer. For instance, the factory farms that produce the cans of cashews found on store shelves will usually opt for lesser quality nuts and yet charge premium pricing. They import the nuts from anywhere in the world with little regard for what this might do to the nutrient qualities of the nuts, and their goal is to sell heavier cans at top prices.

When you choose organic cashews, such as our Caju cashews, you will enjoy only the true flavor of the highest quality, hand selected, organic nuts. Roasted in small batches on wood fires, our nuts are only lightly salted with natural sea salt to give a slight contrast to the natural sweetness of Vietnamese-grown cashews.

There are five very good reasons to choose organic cashews, not only are they packed with nutrients and healthy fats, but they will be far better in taste and quality.

Works Cited

Sumner, Jean. Nuts and Seeds, Organic VS. Non-Organic. World Wellness Education. 2013.