Cashews are delightfully sweet and creamy nuts that are crunchy and full of health benefits! All over the world, these delicious exotic nuts are found in many cuisines as they add flavour and texture. They are the fourth most consumed nut in the world. Cashews are one of the superfoods with many health benefits. Let’s explore some of them.
Cashews Health Benefits
1. Great for Heart Health
They have a lower fat content than other nuts. Almost half of the fat in cashews is the heart-healthy kind that can reduce the risk of heart disease. They are high in oleic acid which is the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.
Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health. Cashews are also cholesterol free.
Learn how to Lower High Cholesterol Naturally
Five large studies examined the relation between nut consumption (cashews included) and the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease). The results show that nut consumption is associated with a positive reduction in CHD risk. Researchers say that this is strong scientific evidence that regular nut consumption is helpful for a healthy and balanced diet. Consuming nuts (included cashews) lessens the risk of cardiovascular disease in U.S. adults. – Louisiana State University study.
People with Type 2 diabetes have a 2-4 times higher risk of heart disease. A study found that consumption of nuts helped those with type 2 diabetes lower their risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Effective as an Anti-diabetic
Cashew extract is effective as an anti-diabetic according to a study at the University of Montreal (Canada) and the Université de Yaoundé (Cameroun). Diabetes affects almost 220 million people in the world and can provoke heart or kidney disease.
3. Lower Risk of Cancer
There are many studies highlighted in the Oxford Journals about nuts and cancer prevention. The researchers stated that an increase in nut consumption is associated with a lower cancer occurrence. They suggest that nut consumption would be a good way to prevent cancer.
See this chart showing the phytochemicals in particular nuts and how they help in preventing cancer.
4. Helpful for Memory
This nut is particularly high in the nutrient Phosphatidylserine which studies have shown to help with memory. In fact, they have the highest amount of any nut.
Please Note: Cashew Nut Allergy can be highly potent. Allergic symptoms range from simple skin itching (hives) to potentially severe and even life-threatening (anaphylaxis). Other symptoms include breathing difficulty, pain abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea.
They are lower in calories and in fat compared to most other nuts! Also, they have more protein than most other nuts. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, iron, and rich in B vitamins.
Nutrient Cashew Database by USDA: 1/4 cup of cashews has approximately 196 calories, 5 g of protein, 2 mg Iron, 750 mg copper (84% DV), 89 mg. Cashews also contain vitamins C and B, including 7 micrograms (mcg) of DFE folate. A 1-ounce serving of cashews is about 18 whole cashews. Cashews are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a good source of protein.
- Did you know that they are actually seeds?
- Fresh cashews are surrounded by a shell which contains urushiol which is a resin that is toxic to ingest and can produce rashes.
- The shells of cashews are poisonous.
- They are green before the seed is roasted.
- They are related to mangoes, pistachios, and poison ivy (the poisonous part of the cashew is what makes poison ivy “poison”.
- The cashew resin is used in industrial products used as brake liners and paints.
Weight Gain is Not a Big Thing With Cashews!
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adults who include nuts into their diets do not have to limit their consumption. There were 31 studies about people adding nuts to their diets by replacing other foods with nuts. These people lost an average 1.4 pounds and reduced their waist sizes by more than half an inch. It was important that they replaced other foods and did not just add a lot more nuts.
- They were first grown in Brazil, and then in the sixteenth century, Portuguese explorers took cashews to other tropical countries.
- Top three cashew producers are Viet Nam, Nigeria and India.
Roasted cashews are more nutritious than eating them raw.
The antioxidants in cashews are increased as the roasting temperature increased.
Time to enjoy eating cashews with all their health benefits. Have an occasional small handful or add them to your meals. I have a few very good recipes with cashews in them – links are below. What is your favourite recipe with cashews?
Try this for a treat Tasty Cashew Pesto Recipe
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.