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Are Cashews Really Good For You – 13 Benefits That Tell You The Truth

Are Cashews Really Good For You – 13 Benefits That Tell You The Truth May 8, 2018

They have an unmistakable shape, a buttery sweet and salty taste, and they are native to subtropical climates. Cashews are loaded with powerful nutrients – and they promote heart health, digestion, and healthy brain functioning. Well, there’s a lot more you must know. So, delay no more and continue reading to find out all the benefits of cashews for you.

Table Of Contents

How Are Cashews Good For You?
What Are The Benefits Of Cashews?
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Cashews?
What Are The Side Effects Of Cashews?

How Are Cashews Good For You?

The answer to this question stems from their nutritional profile. Copper is the most abundant mineral found in cashew nuts, and it is important for the production of hemoglobin, collagen, and the protection of nerve fibers. They also contain other minerals like magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus.

And they are rich in vitamin K, which boosts bone health. There are other ways these sumptuous nuts can make your life easy. Let’s take a look at ’em.

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What Are The Benefits Of Cashews?

1. Cashews Aid Diabetes Treatment

Benefits Of Cashews - Cashews Aid Diabetes Treatment Pinit

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Cashews might lower blood sugar levels, as per some studies. They also contain oleic acid that can reduce triglyceride levels, the excess of which is a common issue in diabetics. Also, an ounce of cashew nuts contain just about 9 grams of carbs. This is another plus for diabetics. And the nuts are quite low on the glycemic index scale (13). Glycemic index is the measure of how quickly a particular food can raise the blood sugar levels.

Cashew nuts are tree nuts, and studies show that consuming them can lower and stabilize blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (1).

2. Improve Heart Functioning

Cashews can reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, and this can contribute to heart health. Nuts, in general, are naturally cholesterol-free and contain healthy fats. Cashews are also good sources of arginine, which protects the inner lining of arteries.

Cashews also contain oleic acid, which is known to protect the heart. They contain vitamin E too – and though only in small amounts, the vitamin is still effective in preventing plaque accumulation in the arteries.

3. Strengthen Bones And Teeth

The abundance of copper has a role to play here. Copper deficiency is often linked to low bone mineral density – and this elevates osteoporosis risk. And copper is also important in the production of collagen and elastin – major structural components of the body that make the bone scaffolding.

The magnesium in cashews helps with the assimilation of calcium into the bones. And the manganese in cashews prevents osteoporosis by combining with calcium and copper.
These minerals also make cashew nuts good for the teeth and gums.

4. Prevents Cancer

This is especially true with colon cancer. Tree nuts like cashews were found to be as effective as certain treatments in treating colon cancer. The nuts were also found to keep patients from dying (2).

Cashews are great sources of antioxidant vitamins like tocopherols and phenolic compounds that protect the body from free radical damage. They also prevent cell mutation and DNA damage due to cancerous cells.

Other nutrients in nuts, like ellagic acid, can arrest cancer cell cycle and even induce their death, as per studies (3). Cashew nuts have been found to be particularly beneficial in treating prostate and liver cancers.

5. Promote Healthy Brain Function

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The vitamin E in cashews can prevent age-related memory decline (4). An ounce of cashews a day should do the trick.

And since the brain is mostly made of fat, it relies on a steady supply of healthy fatty acids. Cashews nuts, like most nuts, are replete with these healthy fats.

Other minerals in cashews, like iron, zinc, and copper, regulate neurotransmitter pathways and synaptic transmission – and this activity has been linked to prevention of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and even dementia and dyslexia.

6. Cashews Might Prevent Headaches

The magnesium in cashews can help relax the blood vessels, which can prevent headaches and migraines. However, we need more research on this before we can conclude.

7. Prevent Gallstones

Some evidence suggests that nuts, like cashews, can cut the risk of gallstones (5).

Cashews and other nuts are also rich in bioactive compounds. These include unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and other minerals – all of which have a protective effect against gallstone disease.

As per a Spanish report, cashews contain about 46% of fat. But since most of that is unsaturated fat, it is healthy (6).

8. Might Help In Weight Loss

Though cashews are not miracle weight loss foods, they sure can be a part of a low-calorie weight loss diet. Their addition can make your meal more satisfying and prevent you from binging.

More importantly, cashew nuts are a rich source of monounsaturated fats – the type of fat that is known to aid weight loss. They are a good source of protein too – and consuming protein can induce a feeling of fullness.

9. Cashews Can Boost Vision Health

Cashews are rich sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful antioxidants beneficial to the human eyes. They protect the eyes from light damage and can prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

10. Promote Blood Health

The copper and iron in cashews work in tandem to produce and maintain red blood cells. This improves blood health and also boosts immunity. The iron in cashew nuts can also help prevent iron-deficiency anemia.

11. Improve Digestive Health

The antioxidants in cashews protect the inner lining of the stomach, and this boosts digestive health. Research has found that intake of cashews can reduce stomach damage due to alcohol.
And though low in fiber, cashew nuts might help ease constipation.

12. Enhance Skin Health

Benefits Of Cashews - Enhance Skin Health Pinit

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Cashew nut oil, which is derived from the nuts, can help ease acne and boost skin health. Cashews contain selenium, zinc, iron, and magnesium – all of which boost skin health and can even prevent skin cancer.

The selenium and zinc in cashews also help eliminate acne. Selenium, along with vitamin E, helps reduce skin inflammation and hydrates the skin. It also reduces the appearance of scars. Zinc, on the other hand, promotes wound healing.

The type of fats in your diet also determines the amount of inflammation your skin would undergo. The healthy fats in cashews can counter this inflammation and even unclog pores.

13. Make Your Hair Shiny

The copper in cashews initiates the production of melanin – which enhances hair color and makes your hair smooth and silky. Cashews contain linoleic and oleic acids, which boost hair strength as well. Even applying cashew nut oil to your hair can help.

We are done with the benefits. And you saw some of the nutrients that offer them. But there are a few other important nutrients in cashews you need to know about.

Did You Know?

Cashews were introduced to India by the Portuguese in the 16th century, from where they spread to the rest of Asia.

 

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What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Cashews?

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 ounce (28g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155Calories from Fat 103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g19%
Saturated Fat 2g11%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 3mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g3%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Sugars 2g
Protien 5g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Calcium1%
Iron10%
Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories
155
(649 kJ)
8%
From Carbohydrate
34.4
(144 kJ)
From Fat
103
(431 kJ)
From Protein
17.7
(74.1 kJ)
From Alcohol
~
(0.0 kJ)
Protein & Amino Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Protein
5.1g
10%
Tryptophan
80.4mg
Threonine
193 mg
Isoleucine
221 mg
Leucine
412mg
Lysine
260 mg
Methionine
101 mg
Cystine
110 mg
Phenylalanine
266 mg
Tyrosine
142 mg
Valine
306 mg
Arginine
594 mg
Histidine
128mg
Alanine
234 mg
Aspartic acid
503 mg
Glutamic acid
1262 mg
Glycine
262 mg
Proline
227 mg
Serine
302mg
Hydroxyproline
~
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A
0.0 IU
0%
Vitamin C0.1 mg2%
Vitamin D
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)0.3 mg1%
Vitamin K9.5 mcg12%
Thiamin0.1 mg8%
Riboflavin0.0 mg1%
Niacin0.3 mg1%
Vitamin B60.1 mg6%
Folate7.0 mcg2%
Vitamin B120.0 mcg0%
Pantothenic Acid0.2 mg2%
Choline
~
Betaine
~
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calcium10.4 mg1%
Iron1.9 mg10%
Magnesium81.8 mg20%
Phosphorus166 mg17%
Potassium185 mg5%
Sodium3.4 mg0%
Zinc1.6 mg11%
Copper0.6 mg31%
Manganese0.5 mg23%
Selenium5.6 mcg8%
Fluoride
Fats & Fatty Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Fat12.3 g19%
Saturated Fat2.2 g11%
Monounsaturated Fat6.7g
Polyunsaturated Fat166 mg
Potassium2.2g5%
Total trans fatty acids~
Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids~
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids~
Total Omega-3 fatty acids17.4mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids2179mg

So yes, cashews are wonderful. But not too many of them.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Cashews?

  • Allergies

Individuals allergic to hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, and peanuts can develop allergic reactions to cashews too. So, check with your doctor before you consume them.

  • Issues During Diabetes

Excess cashew consumption can cause the blood sugar levels to go haywire. Hence, consult a doctor if you have diabetes and are planning to include cashews in your diet.

  • Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

We don’t know what will happen with excess cashew consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hence, stay safe and limit consumption to food amounts.

  • Surgery

As cashews can affect blood sugar levels, they might affect blood sugar control during or after surgery. Hence, avoid intake at least two weeks before surgery.

Conclusion

The benefits of cashews are numerous and they sure make for tasty treats, only more reasons to include them in your diet.

Tell us how this post has helped you. Please leave a comment in the box below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How many cashew nuts can you eat in a day?

15 cashew nuts a day should do.

What is the best time to eat cashew  nuts?

Having cashew nuts in the evening works best. They boost your stamina after a hard day’s work.

What fruit do cashew nuts come from?

Technically, cashews are not nuts that come from fruits, but are the fruits themselves. They come from the cashew tree.

How are they processed?

It is a four-step process. First, the outer shell of the raw cashew nut is removed for the edible cashew kernel. They are then roasted in a drum. Secondly, the roasted shells are taken to a different department to remove the outer shell. Thirdly, the inner shell of the kernel is peeled to produce the white nuts. The fourth step is where the white nuts are sorted into different grades before packaging.

What are the other types of cashew products available in the market?

Cashew butter, cashew flour, and cashew milk.

References

1. “Effect of tree nuts on glycemic control…”. US National Library of Medicine.
2. “Can cashews keep colon cancer patients alive?” Weill Cornell Medicine.
3. “Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular…”. US National Library of Medicine.
4. “Eat smart for a healthier brain”. WebMD.
5. “Gallbladder diet”. WebMD.
6. “Health benefits of nut consumption”. US National Library of Medicine.

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