Are Cashews Good For You – Benefits, Uses And Side Effects
Are Cashews Good For You – Cashew nuts are cocoon-shaped seeds obtained from the cashew tree, a tropical tree native to Brazil but now grown in various warm climates around the world.
Although “raw” cashews are widely sold, because they are completely unsafe to eat because they contain a substance known as urushiol, which is found in poison ivy. Urushiol is toxic and in some people contact with it can cause skin reactions.
These are cooked to remove this toxic liquid, and the resulting product is sold “raw.”
Although cashews are commonly known as nuts and have comparable nutritional value, they are actually seeds. They are considered to be rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds and they can be easily added in to many dishes.
Like most nuts, they can also help improve overall health. They have been linked to benefits such as weight loss, better blood sugar control and a healthier heart.
This article looks at the nutritional value, benefits and drawbacks of cashews to determine if they are good for you.
Rich In Nutrients
Cashews are rich in several nutrients. One ounce (28 grams) of unsalted, unroasted cashews provides about:
- Calories: 157
- Fat: 12 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: 5 grams
- Copper: 67% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Magnesium: 20% of the DV
- Manganese: 20% of the DV
- Selenium: 10% of the DV
- Thiamine: 10% of the DV
- Zinc: 15% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
They are very high in polyunsaturated fat, a category of fat associated with a lower risk of premature death and heart disease.
They are also low in sugar, a source of fiber, and contain about the same amount of protein as an equivalent amount of cooked meat.
In addition, they contain large amounts of copper, an important mineral for energy production, healthy brain development and a strong immune system.
They are also an excellent source of magnesium and manganese, which are important nutrients for bone health.
Cashews are low in sugar and high in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and vegetable protein. They are considered also to be a good source of copper, magnesium, and manganese, essential nutrients, that are important for energy production, brain health, immunity, and bone health.
Contains Beneficial Plant Compounds
Nuts and seeds are considered a source of antioxidants, and cashews are no exception.
Antioxidants are beneficial plant compounds that may keep your body healthy by neutralizing damage-causing molecules or compounds that are known as free radicals.
In turn, this helps reduce inflammation and improve your body’s ability to stay healthy and disease-free.
Cashews are a rich source of polyphenols and carotenoids, two classes of antioxidants that are also found in other nuts.
Research has linked antioxidants in nuts like walnuts, walnuts, and almonds to lower levels of oxidative damage to cells.
Because of their similar antioxidant profiles, they are expected to have similar antioxidant benefits. This may be especially true of roasted cashews, which have higher antioxidant activity than their “raw” counterparts.
However, research on cashews is limited, and more studies are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Cashews are rich in carotenoids and polyphenols, two categories of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and provide protection against disease. However, more specific studies on them are needed.
It can help you lose weight
Walnuts are high in calories and fat. Therefore, people who want to lose weight are traditionally advised to limit the amount of walnuts in their diet.
However, research is beginning to link nut-rich diets to greater weight loss and lower total body weight than nut-free diets.
This may be partially explained by the fact that cashews provide fewer calories than previously thought.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Data Central Database, cashews contain 157 calories per 28 gram serving.
However, recent studies show that the human body can only digest and absorb about 84% of these calories.
This is probably due to the fact that some of the fat contained in it remains in the fibrous walls of the cashew, and is not absorbed during digestion.
Conversely, roasting or chopping nuts can increase your body’s ability to fully digest them, thereby increasing the amount of calories you absorb.
As a result, the weight loss benefits may be stronger for whole “raw” cashews, although more research is needed to confirm this. And you can sacrifice the antioxidant benefits of roasted cashews.
In addition to having fewer calories than expected, nuts are also high in protein and fiber, both of which are known to reduce hunger and induce feelings of fullness, which can help promote weight loss.
Cashews contain fewer calories than previously thought. Its rich fiber and protein content can help reduce hunger and increase satiety. Together, all these factors can help you lose weight.
May Improve Heart Health
A diet rich in nuts, including cashews, has been consistently linked to a lower risk of diseases such as stroke and heart disease.
Several studies have focused on the specific benefits of cashew nuts for heart health.
One of them found that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 10 percent of their daily calories from cashews had a lower ratio of LDL (bad) to HDL (good) cholesterol than those who did not eat cashews.
A low LDL to HDL ratio is generally considered a marker of good heart health.
Two other studies have linked cashew consumption to higher HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, as well as lower total and LDL cholesterol.
However, recent reviews show conflicting results. One of the included studies found that regular consumption of cashews can lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. However, it does not affect total, LDL, or HDL cholesterol levels.
Similarly, another review failed to find significant changes in cholesterol or triglyceride levels after eating 1 to 3.8 ounces (28 to 108 grams) of cashew nuts daily for 4 to 12 weeks.
The researchers may suggest that these results are due to the low number of studies and small number of participants.
They concluded that while cashews may benefit heart health like other nuts, more research is needed to confirm this.
There may also be differences depending on whether participants in this study replaced unhealthy snacks with cashews or simply added them to their current diet.
A diet that is rich in nuts has been proved to be genreally good for heart health. Cashews appear to offer several benefits for lowering blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. However, more research or studies are to be needed before firm conclusions may be drawn.
May be helpful for people with type-2 diabetes
People having type-2 diabetes may have benefits from adding cashews into their diet.
This is partly because cashews are considered to be a good source of fiber, a nutrient that may helps to prevent blood sugar spikes and protects against type 2 diabetes.
Research on blood sugar levels investigating the effects of cashew nuts is limited.
However, in one study, people with type 2 diabetes who got 10 percent of their daily calories from cashews had lower total insulin levels, a measure of blood sugar control, than those who didn’t eat them.
In addition, cashews may contain only 8 grams of net carbs per serving, having of less than 2 grams is sugar.
Net carbs refer to the total amount of carbohydrates in a food minus the amount of fiber it contains, which gives a value for the amount of net carbs your body can actually absorb.
Replacing foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar with cashews can help lower blood sugar levels.
However, more studies are needed to examine the effects of a diet rich in cashews in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cashews are low in sugar and high in fiber, two factors that, when combined, may help lower blood sugar levels and protect against the development of type 2 diabetes.
Easy to add to your diet
Cashews can be added into your diet easily. They can be eaten “raw” or fried and made into a light snack.
Whole or ground cashews may also be added to many dishes, from scrambled eggs with tofu and French fries to soups, salads, and also stews.
Cashew butter is another way in order to add the cashews into your diet. Spread on toast or drizzle over yogurt or oatmeal.
You can also process cashew butter with oatmeal and your favorite dried fruit to make homemade energy balls.
Cashews may also be soaked and are mixed with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in order to make your own dairy-free cream or cream cheese. Use it to add flavor to dishes or make a dairy-free version of your favorite dessert.
Please note that some roasted and salted cashews may contain significant amounts of added oil and salt.
If your goal is to limit excess salt or added fat, choose unsalted or roasted “raw” cashews whenever possible.
Cashews are a versatile addition to any diet. Eat it neat, add it to your favorite dishes, or use it to make cashew-based sauces and desserts. Choose the “raw” or dry roasted unsalted variety whenever possible.
Possible Side Effects
Cashews are generally a safe addition to the diets of most people.
Keep in mind that roasted or salted cashews may contain large amounts of oil or salt. For this reason, it’s best to choose the unsalted, dry-roasted, or “raw” (uncooked) variety.
Some studies suggest that roasted cashews may contain higher levels of health-promoting antioxidants than those that are not roasted. Consider roasting raw cashews at home without adding oil.
To do this, simply spread the unroasted cashews in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then it should be bake at 350°F (188°C) on the middle rack of the oven round about for 8-15 minutes. Be sure to stir the cashews every 3-5 minutes so they don’t burn.
Alternatively, toss the cashews in a skillet over medium at a temperature for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Additionally, cashews may contains phytates, which can make it difficult for the body in order to absorb the vitamins and minerals they may contain.
Soaking walnuts overnight before adding them to foods will help reduce phytate content and improve digestibility.
Finally, cashews are classified as nuts. Therefore, people who are allergic to nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or hazelnuts may be at higher risk of being allergic to cashews.
Cashews are generally considered safe. To get the most benefit, consider buying unroasted cashews (sold as “raw”) without salt and soaking them before eating whenever possible. Dry roasting of cashews increases antioxidant activity.
Cashews are considered to be rich in fiber, protein, and also healthy fats. It also contains various vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that promote health.
Such as walnuts, cashews can trigger weight loss, blood sugar control, and also heart health. Therefore, more studies on them are needed to confirm these benefits.
However, there are some downsides to adding more these nuts to your diet. Be sure to choose the dry-roasted or unsalted-roasted variety whenever possible.