Cashew Nuts: Potential Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts

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Cashew nuts are native to Brazil, where they have long been viewed as a delicacy. More recently, cashews have become popular throughout the world for their delicate flavor and extraordinary health benefits. Manufacturers always sell cashews in their shelled state, as part of the shell contains a resin that is not safe for consumption. However, it is possible to purchase raw cashews, roasted cashews, or cashews that have been seasoned with various flavorings. This means you can use them as a snack or as an addition to salads, smoothies, stir-fries and other meals. With each serving of cashews, you harness incredible health benefits that set them apart from other nuts.


Nutrition Of Cashew Nuts

Cashew Nuts: Potential Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts

Cashew nuts are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods in the world despite being rich in calories and low in fiber as they are packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. They contain many essential fatty acids that are beneficial for the body.

One ounce (28.3 g) of cashew nuts contains 157 calories, 8.5 g of carbohydrates, 5.1g of protein, 12.4 g of fat, 0.3 mg of vitamin E, 9.5 mcg of vitamin K, 0.1 mg of vitamin B6, 10.4 g of calcium, 3.4 mg of sodium, 187 mg of potassium, 83 mg of magnesium, and 7 µg of folate.

Since cashew nuts contain so many amazing nutrients, they are purported to provide a host of health benefits. Check them out in the next section.

Health Benefits Of Cashew Nuts

Boost Your Immune System

In addition to containing high amounts of copper, cashews are a great source of zinc (WH Foods, 2014). Failing to get enough zinc compromises your immune system functioning, since this mineral is important for the development of immune system cells, production of antioxidant enzymes and activity of immune system regulators (Ho, 2013). Each 1-ounce serving of cashews provides 1.6 mg of zinc, helping you advance toward your recommended daily target of 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. In numerous studies, boosting zinc intake has been associated with a healthier immune response, meaning that cashews could help you fight off your next cold.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

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Cashew nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and L-arginine.
According to a 12-week study conducted on Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes, the consumption of cashew nut can reduce systolic blood pressure and increase HDL (good) cholesterol without having a negative effect on body weight, glycemia, or other lipid variables.

Cashews also contain an amino acid called L-arginine. L-arginine can help reduce blood pressure as it is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), which is a vasodilator

May Prevent Gallstones

Frequent nut consumption can reduce the risk of developing gallstones. Gallstones are hard deposits of cholesterol and other minerals. Since cashews have an ability to lower level cholesterol, they may also help in preventing the formation of gallstones. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.

A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who eat 5 oz of nuts per week are at a reduced risk of cholecystectomy (a surgical procedure to remove your gallbladder) than women who consume less than 1 oz of nuts per week

May Help In Managing Weight Loss

Cashew Nuts: Potential Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts
Cashew Nuts: Potential Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts

Cashew nuts, though rich in calories, do not increase weight when consumed in moderation. Studies done on 51,188 women during a period of 8 years have shown that including nuts in the diet can reduce the risk of gaining weight. There are various hypotheses behind this claim though no experimental evidence is available.

One theory suggests that since cashew nuts are rich in nutrients and healthy fats that reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease (factors connected to obesity), they may be helpful in weight management by association.

Cashew nuts also curb hunger pangs and fill you up for a longer time, thus preventing you from binge eating.

Good for the Skin

Derived from the cashew seeds, “cashew oil does wonders for your skin,” says Gargi Sharma, Manager Weight Management, Aayna. Cashew nut oil is rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Also, they are great sources of phytochemicals, proteins and antioxidants. The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but “helps prevent cancer as well,” says nutritionist Anju Sood.