Regular consumption of cashew seed extract could help control diabetes the oleic acid it contains is known to boost absorption of glucose in the body muscles, a new study has found.

Cashew seed is the nut that grows at the bottom of the apple, and contains oleic acid which is known as the healthy ingredient in olive oil. It is also a source of minerals like copper, zinc, phosphorous and magnesium. All these minerals are crucial to reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome – a feature that is known to contribute majorly to development of diabetes.

In addition, the seeds are also a rich source of protein and contain B group Vitamins besides being rich in antioxidants. Cashew seeds are also low in saturated fat and are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Researchers tested extracts of cashew seed from the bark, apples, leaves and seeds of the tree and found that all these elements had great potential for developing nutraceuticals with anti-diabetic properties that could help those with the metabolic condition.

"Of all the extracts tested, only cashew seed extract significantly stimulated blood sugar absorption by muscle 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," says Pierre Haddad, who authored the study.

The research team believes that till date, the benefits of cashew seed were largely unknown to the world and hope that their findings will lead to new diabetes treatments from cashew seed extract as a potential anti-diabetic nutraceutical.

Diabetes is a condition in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin or because the cells do not respond to insulin. The disease is known to have affected more than 220 million people worldwide. The metabolic disease is found to be a trigger in many ailments affecting heart, kidney, nerves and eyes.