Copper, iron, cashew nuts, rheumatism … what do these four things have in common ?
Ok, let me explain. I’ve suffered, no I won’t say suffered I’ll say had, I’ve had rheumatism since the age of 6. Since most people start to get rheumatism from between the ages of 40 and 50 and since I’ve already had it for, let’s say “over 40” years then in rheumatic years I’m an old lady of at least 80.
For you lucky people who’ve never had to deal with rheumatism the easiest thing to compare the feeling with is a very sensitive tooth. Imagine you get up in the morning with your mouth all warm and cosy, then you clean your teeth with running water from the cold tap. Arrrhhh ! Ok, once the initial jab of pain has gone can you think of the ache which immediately follows, the one which stays behind once the cold water has gone, the one which makes you cradle your mouth in your warm hand and screw up your eyes ? Got that ? Now think of that ache in your bones or joints each time the weather is damp or cold, or if you walk across the kitchen floor without your slippers on or, dare I say it, go out into the cold night air in a short skirt instead of trousers and without a long-sleeved cardigan or coat !
Ok, so you get the rheumatism picture, but what about the copper, iron an cashew nuts ?
I’ll be the first to admit that my diet is dreadfully lacking in iron. I eat practically no red meat, and as for green vegetables, if you count peas (individually) then I eat quite a few, but that’s about it. If you add to this that I’m “one of those women at that age” then my iron, or rather lack of it, is becoming a problem. So much so that I had to involve the doctor. She pretty much gave up on my diet and just told me to take the pills whenever I felt I needed them. A while ago I decided to try to make some healthy changes to my diet, I wrote about this in the post “Detox“. I didn’t keep up with the dried apricots or the cereals but I did keep going most of the time with the cashew nuts.
I wear a copper bangle for my rheumatism. Many people laugh at the belief that wearing a bracelet can help to relieve aches and pains, but many, many more actually wear them. Whether this is because of the placebo effect and it’s all in the mind is another un-answered question but surely we can’t all be imagining it ? I find that when I am wearing my bracelet I don’t really think of it at all, the only time I do make the connection is if for some reason I’ve not been wearing it and I’m hobbling around or sitting wrapped up in a fleecy throw like an old lady and then I remember taking it off for some reason or another. I’ve been eating my cashews and have noticed the same sort of pattern appearing when I forget to eat them, or if I run out before payday.
While looking into the percentage of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of iron there was present in cashew nuts, it appears that I’ve accidentally increased my RDA of copper as well. Per 100g, cashews have 34% of the RDA of iron and a giant 102% of the RDA of copper. Unfortunately I also have to take into account that 100g also carries along with it 581 calories – ouch !
I normally tip out a small handful to eat so I weighed the handful and worked out that about 12 cashew nuts weigh about 15g. This means that my small handful each day gives me just over 5% of my RDA of iron and about 15% of copper … and all for less than 100 calories.
I’m no nutritionist and this could well be just another placebo effect but I’d be very interested if anyone else eats cashews on a regular basis and if they’ve found a similar pattern too.