Cashews are a type of nuts with a soft consistency and a sweet taste. Cashews are sold raw as well as roasted and salted or unsalted. Cashews are also used to make dairy alternatives such as cashew milk and cheese, sour cream and cashew cream sauces.
Consuming a high proportion of plant-based foods such as cashews reduces the risk of many lifestyle-related health problems. Eating this nut makes it possible to protect the heart, hair and bones, among other things. In addition, the consumption of cashew nuts offers other benefits.
Nutritional values in Cashew nuts
28 grams of cashew nuts (18 whole cashew nuts) contains:
0.9 grams of fiber
1.68 grams of sugar
10 milligrams (mg) of calcium
12.43 grams of total fat
5.17 grams of protein
8.56 grams of carbohydrate
Cashews also contain vitamins C and B, including 7 micrograms (mcg) of folate . Cashews are rich in mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are also a good source of protein.
Health Benefits of Cashew nuts
Maintain a healthy weight
Eating nuts does not lead to weight gain, but it does help to maintain a healthy weight. This is because eating nuts such as cashews makes a person feel full. Furthermore, the consumption of nuts contributes to the production of heat in the body (thermogenesis). This stimulates the metabolism .
Cashew nuts are beneficial for protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays. They contain the powerful antioxidant known zeaxanthin, which forms a protective layer above the retina . In other words , cashew nuts are an example of a healthy diet .
Cashews are one of the few food sources that are high in copper. For adults 19 years and older, the daily recommended intake for copper is 900 micrograms. Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis .
Copper also plays an important role in the maintenance of collagen and elastin. Without enough copper, the body cannot replace the damaged connective tissue or collagen that supports bone. This leads to joint problems, among other things, while the body tissues begin to break down.
The magnesium in cashews is also important for bone formation, as it aids in the assimilation of calcium into bone. Manganese, another mineral in cashews, also prevents osteoporosis when combined with calcium and copper.
The mineral copper is necessary for good hair health. Thanks to eating cashew nuts, the hair gets a beautiful and healthy color.
The mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids present in cashews help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease , stroke and heart attack. The risk of coronary heart disease (coronary artery disease) is 37 percent lower in people who eat nuts more than four times a week compared to people who never or rarely consume nuts.
Cashews are a good source of magnesium, which plays an important role in over three hundred enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium, for example, takes care of the metabolism of food and the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins.
Magnesium is also involved in muscle relaxation and neuromuscular transmission and activity. A magnesium deficiency occurs most often in the elderly. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance (cells are insensitive to insulin), metabolic syndrome , coronary artery disease and osteoporosis.
A high intake of calcium without sufficient magnesium increases the risk of arteriosclerosis , cardiovascular disease and kidney stones. People with the highest magnesium intake are about 58 percent less likely to develop coronary artery calcification and 34 percent less likely to have abdominal arterial calcification.
Prevention of anemia
The regular and moderate consumption of cashews reduces the risk of blood diseases . One of the most common blood diseases, anemia iron deficiency ( iron deficiency anemia ). This iron deficiency may be the result of a copper deficiency. Regular consumption of cashew nuts prevents a copper deficiency and therefore also an iron deficiency in the body.
Reduced risk of gallstones
Frequent nut consumption (from ninety nuts per week) is associated with a reduced risk of the need to have the gallbladder surgically removed ( cholecystectomy ) due to gallstones .
Risks or Harms of Cashew
People with nut allergies should avoid cashews because they contain potent allergens (triggers) that can potentially lead to allergic reactions , including life-threatening anaphylactic shock .
Do not eat raw cashew nuts
Really raw cashews are not safe to eat because they contain the compound urushiol also found in poison ivy . Urushiol is toxic and contact with this substance causes a skin reaction in some people. Cashews are often sold as “raw” in stores, but they have been steamed to remove the toxins. These cashew nuts are safe and healthy.
Nuts have a high fat content and sometimes become stale. Storing cashews in a cool, dark, and dry place improves shelf life. If the nuts are properly stored, it is possible to store them at room temperature for a few months. They can be kept in the fridge for up to one year and even up to two years in the freezer. Stale nuts are not unsafe but have a pungent taste that most people find unpleasant.
Cashews contain fat, but these are mostly unsaturated fats, which are healthy in moderate amounts. Depending on the brand, salted and roasted cashews are high in salt and fat, which may not be healthy. It is best that people check the label and consume these nuts in small amounts.