Red Cashew Apple Fruit: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Uses, How to Preserve?  

Last updated on July 16th, 2023 at 04:29 pm

10 minutes read.

Cashew fruits have been grown and eaten in so many parts of the world since ancient times. Some people call it cashew apple.

The fruits come in different varieties ranging from yellow, and red to a blend of yellow and red. Cashew fruit is fully packed with an outstanding level of nutrients.

However, commercial harvesters normally abandon the fruits and go after the seed (the popular cashew nuts) only. Perhaps they thought the fruits has no value that was worth giving attention to, so they treat it as waste.

Some villagers will go to pick a few of the fruits and sell it in the local market.

Surprising! Aside from other studies on cashew apple fruits,  one chemistry research in 2018 has evidently shown that cashew fruits contain high amounts of potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, polyphenol, vitamin C, and manganese with other vital components which could be economically important.

Unfortunately, most people are ignorant of these nutrients packed in cashew fruit.

This article will tell you everything about red cashew fruits including their health benefits, uses, and how to preserve it. Trust me the information I have for you today is unique, detailed, and worth reading.

Feel free to skim to any topic that interests you most.

What’s Cashew Fruit?

Cashew fruits are bulbous oval, conical, or apple-shaped fruits with a kidney-shaped seed hanging under the fruit. The tree is mostly found in tropical regions of the world.

Its fruits range in size from small, medium to big, from 5 to 10 centimeters in length,

The fruit skin is thin, smooth, yellow, or red, or a blend of red and yellow hues when mature.

The ripe fleshy skin has an aromatic fruity sweet with a little pungent taste, dense, aqueous, soft, fibrous, and chewable.

But the unripe fruits have an astringent taste which makes them unpalatable.

Note unripe cashew is usually green in both yellow and red varieties. 

Unripe cashew
Ripe cashew   



Common Names of Cashew

Cashew trees are known by different names in different parts of the world;

For instance, Maranon, cajuil (Puerto Rico), mereh (Venezuela), caju (Portuguese), acajou (French), mamuang himmalphan (central Thailand), jambu Monet (Malay), other English-speaking countries like Nigeria and Binin also know it as cashew.

Nutrition Facts of Cashew Fruits (red colored type)

Scientists have recently carried out some thorough research on Cashew fruits,(2018).

According to the results of the studies, red cashew fruits contain the following nutrition profile:

VarietyRed cashew
Total sugar (carbohydrates) (percent)2.37
Lipids (fats and oil)2.99
Vitamin C0.99
Minerals (mg/L)Mg/L

Other previous studies (2013) on the same fruits also reported similar results.  

Follow me to eat the main cake in this post.

Health Benefits of Cashew Fruits.

1. Protect You from Cancer

It contains a high quantity of protocatechuic acid, a phenolic compound. In in vivo experiments using rats and mice, protocatechuic acid has been shown to exert anti-apoptotic activities.

 It has also been shown to inhibit chemical carcinogenesis and exert proapoptotic and antiproliferative effects in different cancerous tissues.

It also contains a high quantity of beta-cryptoxanthin, gallic acid, and lutein which can lower the risk of developing cancer cells.

2. Anti-Diabetic Effect

Protocatechuic acid(phenolic compound) also has been shown to exert anti-hyperglycemic activities, meaning it has the tendency to reduce blood sugar.

 It also contains a high quantity of magnesium and little amount of manganese which all play a huge role in the regulation of blood sugar.   

3. Anti-inflammatory properties

Protocatechuic acid (phenolic acid) has been reported to show anti-inflammatory properties in in vivo experiments using rats and mice.

It also contains gallic acid, lutein, and vitamin C which are powerful anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.

4. High Source of Antioxidant

 It’s surprising! This fruit that commercial harvesters normally abandoned as waste contains a very high quantity of anti-oxidant nutrients such as gallic acid, beta-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin (phenolic compounds) which play a huge role in protecting us from heart diseases and cancers.

The red cashew fruit contains a high amount of vitamin C than the yellow varieties.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your cell against the effect of free radicals (free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun, x-rays, or other sources).

Free radicals are associated with heart disease and cancer.

5. Support Heart Health

Many studies have reported that gallic acid and lutein possess therapeutic activities in cardiovascular disorders.

These two phenolic compounds are found in large amounts in cashew fruit juice. In addition, is high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Research has shown that consumption of food high in these nutrients may help lower blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases and strokes.

6. Improve Digestion

The fruit contains enough fiber if consume stretched with the whole fleshy skin. Fiber makes you feel full and help to soften and bulk up feces in your gut during metabolism.

It also contains lactic acid which is said to be probiotics, meaning it feeds the healthy bacteria in your intestine. Such properties can boost your gut health and protect you from constipation and other gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers.

Gallic acid has also been reported to have therapeutic effects on gastrointestinal issues. Malic acid also helps to improve your liver health which is the engine that breakdown the food you eat.

Citric acid is found in this fruit which helps in the absorption of minerals, energy metabolism, and prevention of kidney stones.

7. Bone Health

It contains a high amount of calcium which is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Manganese which helps your body form connective tissue, bones, and blood clotting factors is also not missing in cashew fruits.

 Magnesium, copper, and malic acid which all play good roles in bone maintenance are found in this fruit.

Particularly food high in malic acid can be used to manage local inflammation of muscle and connective tissues (fibromyalgia), and fatigue syndrome and can also benefit your oral health.  

More so, many in vitro, animal, and human studies suggest that beta-cryptoxanthin which is found in this fruit may have an anabolic effect on bone, thereby helping delay osteoporosis.

Your body also needs sodium in a small amount to conduct some nerve impulses, contract and relax the muscle as well as maintain the proper balance of water and mineral in the body.

 It is estimated that our body needs about 500 mg of sodium daily to carry out vital functions.

8. Vision

Zeaxanthin and lutein which have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts are surplus in this fruit.

Particularly it contains carotene which gives its yellow color. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A inside the body and we need vitamin A for good vision and eye health as well as a strong immune system.

It also contains lipids. A recent study has shown lipids provide a high source of energy and play key roles as cofactors, electron carriers, light-absorbing pigments, and hydrophobic issues.

9. Improve Hair and Skin Health

The carotene found in this fruit nourishes your skin and mucous membranes.

Malic acid which is a common ingredient in many hair and skin care products is found in this fruit. Malic acid boosts your hair and skin health. It’s what gives the fruit its little tart taste.

10. Improve sexual stability

Cashew fruit is a good source of zinc. The effect of zinc on erectile dysfunction had been well pronounced by many researchers.

Zinc helps in the synthesis of key sex hormones such as testosterone and prolactin. Zinc enables the formation of the main component of prostatic fluid. 

Many scientific studies have shown that dietary zinc improves male sexual competency.    

11. Antimicrobial Properties 

The ripped cashew fruit contains tannins which serve as a natural defense against microbial infections.

The tannins found in many edible fruits seemed to be associated with the hydrolysis of ester linkage between gallic acid and polyols breakdown after the ripening of the fruit.

12. Support Growth

This fruit makes a good source of iron. Iron is a vital mineral that your body needs for growth and development.

 Iron is used by your body to synthesize hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the muscles.

It also contains iodine that helps the thyroid gland in the neck to synthesize thyroxin hormone. Thyroxin hormone enables the growth of bones, and nerves, and how protein, fat, and carbohydrates are used in the body.

Iodine is also an important nutrient required before birth because it helps brain development and the nervous system, and also promotes growth in babies and young children.

In addition, it contains zinc which supports the immune system, enables the body to synthesize proteins and DNA, promotes childhood growth and development, and plays a role in wound healing.

Protein may be the last thing that flashes to your mind when you want to eat cashew fruits. Surprisingly, this fruit contains some quantity of protein.

 Uses of Cashew Fruits

1. Cashew Fruits can be consumed straight out of hand, but the tannic nature of the flesh is often considered too astringent and unpalatable to some people.

In Nigeria, the fruits are sold locally and consumed fresh or a few hours after harvesting.

2. In some Asian countries like Cambodia, Cashew apples are sometimes sprinkled with salt and are eaten fresh.

3. Cashew fruits are also finely sliced into pieces to reduce their fibrous texture and sprinkled with salt in other parts of Asia and Africa.

4. Cashew fruits can be blended and strained into juice, mixed with honey, or other sweeteners.

5. Cashew fruit juice can be blended with other fruits to create a flavorful beverage taste.


It is important to note that the juice may stain clothing and various fabrics, so be more careful while preparing the juice.

6. Cashew apples can also be fermented in vinegar as a condiment, and preserved in syrup for extended use.

7. Some people who aren’t comfortable with the little astringent taste may like to steam or boil it in salted water for a few minutes to reduce its fibrous quality and tart taste.

8. Cashew apples can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

9. It can be cooked directly and mixed with jams, and other fruit-inspired variations.

10. The fruits can also be tossed into soups, curries, stews, and stir-fries made into chutney or used as filling in empanadas.

11. In Panama, Cashew apples are simmered with water and sugar to create a brown paste-like dessert called dulce de Marañón.

13. Cashew apples pair well with fruits such as mangoes, coconut, limes, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, kale, condensed milk, chocolate, vanilla, and spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

What are the Industrial Uses of Cashew Fruits?

In the industry, cashew fruits or cashew apples can be processed into a variety of products such as Juice, Quash, Syrup, Jam, Candy, Wine, Alcohol, Vinegar, and Dietary fiber.

Recently well-developed current technologies exist for the production of these preparations.

How to Preserve Cashew Fruits

Ripped cashew fruit is best consumed immediately after harvest to get the best taste and flavor.

If washed with little salt and water immediately after harvest and covered in a bowl or plate it will last for 2 days after which it will begin to spoil.

Don’t expose it to fruit flies.

If you want it to last for up to 7 days, wash it with little salt and water after purchase or harvest, gently remove the seeds, wrap it in aluminum foil, cover in an airtight container and store it in the fridge.

Note don’t allow it to freeze in the fridge. If your fridge starts freezing, remove it while still in the airtight container and allow it to stand for 2 hours before you return.

Allowing it to freeze will affect the texture and test.

The fruits can also be ground with a fruit blender and extract juice, you can do this in your home at your own convenience.

Take a look at the infographic below. This is another way to extract cashew juice and preserve at home.

That is a piece of interesting information about cashew, right?

Feel like going? Just one more minute I will wrap it up.

Side Effect

Generally, cashew is safe for consumption, however, it contain ………that often cause itching or bruising on the skin but this can be prevented if you thoroughly wash it with water.

The unripe cashew is not actually palatable and seems to contain more urushiol so stay aware of eating the unripe cashew

Be sure to wash every cashew fruit before eating it.

Don’t allow children to eat cashew fruit on their own. Carefully feed them the cashew yourself by slicing it into pieces. Because the juice that comes from cashew may sprinkle on their skin and cause itching and bruising.

Also, the juicy water that comes from cashew can stain cloth so be careful when handling it.

Don’t overconsume at a time.  Because just like every other food or fruit consumption may cause stomach pain or diarrhea. Always understand that your body needs every fruit in a moderate range.

The reducing sugar in cashew fruits is low, as a result, consuming much of it cannot increase your blood sugar level.

Biochemically, the high quantity of antioxidants and electrolytes packed in the fruit will always help to keep your blood sugar low.

But make sure you’re consuming whole cashew fruits or whole cashew juice not with an added artificial sweetener that may likely raise your blood sugar level.

Availability (Cashew season)

When is the harvesting time for cashew?

The harvesting season of cashew fruits occurs around April-May.

While in some tropical zones, it’s gotten all year round.

The cashew is now of pan-tropical distribution and is grown wild and commercially in many tropical areas of the world, east Africa (e.g., Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya), west Africa (e,g ., Nigeria and Benin),  southeast Asia (e.g., Vietnam, Indonesia), Central America (e.g., Costa Rica, Guatemala), and some South American countries (e.g., Peru, Venezuela, Colombia).

However, the major cashew producers are India and Brazil.


The English name cashew derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree: caju, also known as acaju, which itself is from the Tupian word acajú, literally meaning “nut that produces itself”.


Cashew apples are said to be native to Northeastern Brazil in the region between the Atlantic and Amazon rainforests. This area is a dry forest or savannah-woodland habitat.


Portuguese explorers first took the cashew from Brazil to India (Goa) and then to Mozambique (Africa) in the 16th century.

 From these two areas, the cashew spread to other parts of East Africa and Angola, as well as throughout southeastern Asia and northern Australia.

Perhaps, the Spanish explorers spread the plant to Central America and the Caribbean basin. Cashews were first imported to the United States from India in the early part of the 20th century.

Ethnicity Practice with Cashew

According to ancient stories, Cashew fruits/ apples are most famously fermented and distilled into an alcohol called Feni in Goa, India.

The liquor was developed by Portuguese monks residing in Goa in the 18th century and is made from Cashew fruits that were discarded during the harvesting of the seed.

 During this time, cashew seed growers only harvested the small kidney-shaped seeds attached to the fruits and would toss the fleshy fruits onto the ground, leaving it for livestock.

Local workers and the monks eventually saw the opportunity to utilize the discarded fruits and collected the cashew fruits. They gathered the fruits and crushed it by foot and were pressed using boulders, machinery, and heavy pots to extract the juice.

The juice was then left to ferment, also being distilled three times until the desired flavor and alcohol content was achieved. The name Feni is derived from the Sanskrit word “phena,” meaning “froth.”

This airy descriptor was said to have been given to the drink for the bubbles that form when the liquor is poured into a glass.

Feni was also used as a natural remedy for colds, coughs, and flu-like symptoms in Goa.

In the modern day, Feni is still made using traditional methods, and the pungent, fruity spirit is enjoyed as a specialty beverage in Goa.

The liquor was considered so unique that it was even given a Global Geographical Indication or GI in 2006, meaning only liquor made in Goa could be labeled as Feni.


It’s obvious that cashew fruits or cashew apple whichever way you like to call it is a hidden source of healthy living.

The value found in this wonderful fruit is worth giving commercial attention right away, especially in some countries where the fruits are produced in large quantities but are treated as waste on the ground during the seed harvest.

Thanks to the researchers who kept on digging to find out the true value of this fruit.

Generally, cashew is safe for consumption, however, it contain urushiol that often causes itching or bruising on the skin but this can be prevented if you thoroughly wash it with water. Don’t allow children to handle cashew on their own.

So nothing should prevent you again from eating a cashew. Go and purchase or plug it and enjoy it in different methods to obtain all the nutrients nature had packed in it.

I hope you get the value worth your time, I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment below if you find this article helpful and don’t forget to drop your question, opinion, or criticism if any. Cheers!     



The content provided in Living Good is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

Spread the message