Sunday is National Cashew Day, a day of the year where we celebrate the little tan-colored nut. Although in the West we are more accustomed to eating them roasted and salted, cashews are a staple ingredient in recipes throughout the world.

The cashew is native to Brazil and grows from a tree attached to a fruit called the “cashew apple.” Although the fruit is virtually unknown in North America, due to its inability to be shipped, it is a common snack in the tropics. Unlike other nuts, the cashew does not develop a hard shell but instead has an acidic lining. The nut was brought from Brazil to India by the Portuguese in the 1560s, and from there soon spread throughout the rest of the world.

Packed with minerals, fiber, protein, and unsaturated fat, the cashew makes a great addition to any diet. One study from earlier this year even found that diets high in nut consumption were linked to lower rates of heart disease. Today, the cashew is enjoyed in a variety of ways and can be cooked in a dinner meal, used in place of dairy for a smoothie, added to salads and cereals as a garnish, and of course, eaten on its own. If you’re looking for ideas on how to add cashews to your diet, for National Cashew Day, or any other day of the year, check out the slideshow.