The Cashew fruits are now in season and sold all over the local markets in Nigeria. It is popular known by the westerns as Cashew apples and is known for being high in vitamin C, to the tune of about five times the quantity found in an orange.
Description of the Cashew Apple
Cashew Apple is a tropical fruit grown mostly in the eastern part of Nigeria and other tropical regions of the world – India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and Brazil which is regarded as a major global source of cashew nuts. The skin is as thin as that of tomato and it doesn’t have a long shelf life, hence it spoils so easily and that is why it is sold quickly after harvest. Its taste is quite acidic, astringent and leaves a dry feeling from the mouth down to the throat.
From the nutrient analysis, the major nutrient obtained in the cashew fruit is Vitamin C which is a necessary cofactor in the formation of the amino acid L-carnitine – is a required part of the fat-burning process. It also packed with tannins that impart an acrid taste.
Benefits of eating the cashew apple/fruit
Nutritionists recommend consumption of cashew apple, in the form of juice or the whole fruit, for the following reasons:
- Contains Vitamin C five times as much as orange and act as an anti-oxidant.
- Cashew apple contains fats that promote healthy hearts and reduce high triglyceride level that is associated with increased risk of heart diseases.
- It helps to burn more fat especially during exercise when the body utilises the big chunk of the fat to supply energy.
- Experts even claimed the fruit juice helps is to boost energy and sexual function and promote normal sleep patterns in menopausal women.
- Like many vitamin pack fruits, it helps to boost the immune system to enable the body fight diseases.
- It is rich in calcium that enhanced healthy muscles and bones in the body.
- The vitamin C in cashew apple is a powerful remedy for colds.
Cashew fruit can be produced as whole juice or mix fruits juice. In other countries like Brazil and India, it has been successfully used, in combination with other ingredients, to make wine, jam, juice drinks and cocktails.
While cashew nut remains world’s favourite, the apple is left to rot away or even discarded due to the challenges posed by their short shelf life and quick fermentation. Even Brazil processes only about 12 percent of its crop of the fruit annually.
However, Pepsi is currency interested in processing and incorporation of the fruit in their brands of products, and the report says Pepsi has turned to the Clinton Foundation, which had expressed interest in the company’s efforts to incorporate small farmers into its global supply chains.
Cashew was introduced into Nigeria between 15 and 16 centuries by the Portuguese explorers for the purpose of preventing erosion and the afforestation schemes of the Eastern Nigeria and the fruit became popular in 1953.