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Cashews: Nutritional Information, Health Benefits
Cashew nuts are not only perfectly sweet, yet deliciously crunchy, they are also packed with energy, antioxidants, natural minerals and vitamins. Their natural resources are essential for strong health. Cashew - or ‘caju’ in Portuguese - coming from cashew trees that are native in Brazil, is one of the most used and trendy ingredients in sweet, as well as in savoury meals all around the world.
It can be used in numerous ways in cooking. Raw, unseasoned cashews are very popular in vegan recipes, as well as in Central Asian, Asian and Indian cooking. Many people prefer roasted and salted cashew nuts, which turns them into healthy, yet tasty snacks.
Recently, it has also been discovered that a couple handfuls of cashews are proven equivalent of a prescription dose of one of the most famous and widely-used antidepressant drugs. But cashew has a lot other amazing healthy benefits.
8 health benefits of cashew nuts:
It prevents colon cancer. One of the major benefits of cashew is that it has high levels of proanthocyanidins and copper. These powerful antioxidants will fight cancerous cells in your body, helping to significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Thanks to its high magnesium content, cashew nuts will lower your blood pressure.
Magnesium is also important for bone health; therefore regular consumption of cashew nuts will strengthen your bones.
It highlights your natural hair colour. Copper helps in the production of melanin in the human body, which is responsible for the pigmentation of hair – as well as the skin and eyes. Since cashews are full of copper, it will help not only to revive your hair colour, but also to prevent grey hair.
Helps to keep your heart healthy. Cashews contain lower fat content than any other nuts, as well as being cholesterol free. Moreover, it contains fat in oleic acid form, which is considered extremely healthy for the heart. Eating them will keep you away from heart diseases.
Although cashew contains fat, it is mostly the healthy monounsaturated type. It is proven that replacing saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fat will help increase weight and fat loss. Therefore integrating cashew into your diet can help with weight loss.
Regular, daily consumption of cashew nuts is proven to reduce the risk of developing gallstones up to 25%.
Cashews are also high in zinc, vitamin E and selenium, which all play vital roles in boosting your immune system against infections, protein synthesis and the healing of wounds.
Allergies and pregnancy
Many people are allergic to nuts. So it is important, that if you have any known allergies, then be sure to check with a healthcare professional before eating cashews in any form.
However during pregnancy, when consumed with moderation, eating nuts – such as cashew nuts – can reduce the risk of your child being allergic to them. They are also a great source of macronutrients, as they contain all the vitamins you need for the healthy development of your unborn child. Moreover, cashew nuts are rich in iron, which will ensure the future mother not to get anaemic during pregnancy as well.
All in all, cashew nuts’ nutritional aspects are very amazing. Their high content of copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K, along with antioxidants, proanthocyanidins and the oleic acid, provide strong and proven health benefits for everybody. Each nutrient of cashew plays vital role in providing bone strength and joint flexibility, lowering blood pressure, vitalizing your hair, and protecting against infections, heart disease, and cancer.
And you don't even have to worry about the fat - it's the good kind.