By Linda Miller
School of Montreal experts suggest that cashew extract may be good for patients with Type 2 diabetes. New research published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research shows that cashew seed extract may play an important role in preventing and treating Type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association’s 2007 fact sheet, approximately 23.6 million children and adults in the United States – 7.8% of the population – have diabetes, with 1.6 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year.
The cashew is a tree in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The plant is native to northeastern Brazil. Scientists researched cashew tree leaves, bark, seeds and apples. They found that the cashew seed extract increased the absorption of blood sugar by the cells.
Extracts of other plant parts had no such effect, indicating that cashew seed extract likely contains active compounds, which can have potential anti-diabetic properties.
In most people who have diabetes, a disorder called insulin resistance prevents the body from processing the hormone, which regulates energy as well as the processing of sugars in the body.
The cashew nut is a popular snack and its rich flavor means it’s often eaten without treatment, lightly salted or sugared. Cashews are a staple in vegan diets. They are utilized as a base in sauces and gravies and can take on sweet properties for frostings and cookies.
They are rich in protein and a raw, natural supply of energy. The fats and oils in cashew nuts are 54 percent monounsaturated fat, 18 percent polyunsaturated fat, and 16 percent saturated fat (9 percent palmitic acid and 7 percent stearic acid).
Here’s a four-serving recipe for Cashew Curry, which cooks in 45 minutes, using a wok or frying pan, a wooden spoon and the following ingredients:
* ½ pound whole cashews
* 2 T organic extra-virgin olive oil
* 5 shallots, thinly sliced
* 5 curry leaves
* A two-inch bit of lemongrass or zest of 1 lemon
* 1 T coriander
* ½ t turmeric
* ½ t salt
* 2 chiles, thinly sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 slices ginger
* 15 oz unsweetened coconut milk
* 2 T cilantro, chopped
Sauté the shallots in the oil, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the curry, lemon, turmeric, chiles, garlic, ginger, and salt, and cook until fragrant, 5-10 mins.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, another 5-10 minutes. Remove curry leaves and serve, with brown rice.
Linda Miller writes for diabetic person cookbooks, her personal hobby blog focused on cooking tips to help people eat healthy to protect against or handle diabetic issues.