Are Cashew Nuts Good For You?
There’s no doubt about it; cashew nuts are one of the most popular nuts, and for good reason. Their sweet buttery taste is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, making them a great healthy food choice. Cashews are low in sugar and high in fibre, heart-healthy fats, and plant protein. One of the reasons for their popularity is how easily they can be added to your diet. Either as a snack, used in recipes and even turned into cashew cheese or butter.
But did you know the cashew nut isn’t actually a nut at all?! They are, in fact, a seed from the flowering Cashew tree. They originated in Brazil, but today, cashew nuts grow all over the world.
Read on to see some more of the health benefits of Cashew nuts.
Cashew Nuts Are Rich in Nutrients
Although cashews may be small, they are packed full of nutrients. They’re a good source of copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese — nutrients important for energy production, brain health, immunity, bone, and teeth health.
Cashews are also high in protein; plain cashew nuts contain 15.7g of protein per 100g, approximately the same as a piece of meat of the same portion size. No wonder they are such a popular choice for people on a plant-based diet!
Cashew Nuts Help Aid with Weight Loss
Nuts are generally high in calories, so people wishing to lose weight may think to avoid them.
However, research is beginning to link nut-rich diets to greater weight loss than diets that do not contain nuts.
Recent research also shows that cashews may provide fewer calories than originally thought. This is likely because a portion of the fat they contain remains trapped within the cashew rather than being absorbed during digestion.
Their rich fibre and protein content can also help reduce hunger and make you feel full for longer. Just make sure to stick to the raw, unsalted kind!
Cashew Nuts May Improve Cardiovascular Health
Diets rich in nuts, including cashews, have been consistently linked to a lower risk of diseases, such as stroke and heart disease. This is possibly due to the fact cashew nuts are particularly high in unsaturated fats. Over 75 percent of the fat found in cashews is oleic acid, which is known to be a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and has been linked to lower heart disease in some studies.
Cashew Nuts May Lower Blood Sugar
Adding cashew nuts to a well-balanced diet may benefit people with high blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes. They can help lower the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol and improve the level of ‘good’ cholesterol. This is in part because cashews are a good source of fibre, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes. Cashews are also low in carbs, so replacing foods that are higher in carbs and sugar with cashews can possibly help to reduce blood sugar levels.
Cashew Nuts Contain Antioxidants
Nuts and seeds are known to be antioxidant powerhouses, and cashews are no exception to this. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralise free radicals, unstable molecules that can harm your cells. Your diet is an essential source of antioxidants, and cashew nuts are rich in both carotenoids and polyphenols. These are two types of antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and increase your body’s ability to stay healthy and free from disease.
How Cashew Nuts Are Good For You
In conclusion, Cashew nuts are generally considered good for you - unless you have a nut allergy, of course! They are full of essential minerals and healthy fats and pack a big punch of protein, making them great for most diets.
Cashews make an easy, versatile, healthy snack that can be eaten by themselves or as part of a stir fry, salad, soup, or any dish you wish to add them to. Like everything, they are best in moderation and part of a healthy balanced diet.