Cashew nuts nutrition facts, recipes and health benefits

Cashew nuts are rich in magnesium, provide good fats and have a positive influence on mood. Cashew nuts make a simple snack, are commonly used in nut mixes, and can also be made into cashew butter, cashew milk, and other products. Eaten in moderation, cashews can be a healthy addition to your diet.

The cashew nut is grown in Vietnam, Nigeria, India and the Ivory Coast, but is originally native to Brazil. The nut is a product of the evergreen cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale), which produces both a fruit (also called an apple) and a nut (also called a seed) hanging beneath the fruit.

1. Cashew nut nutritional values

The following USDA nutritional information is for 1 serving (28 g or 18 kernels) of raw, unsalted cashew nuts.(1)

  • Calories: 157
  • Fat: 12g
  • Sodium: 3.4 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8.6g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Sugar: 1.7g
  • Protein: 5.2g

1.1 Carbohydrates

Most of the carbohydrates in cashews are starch. A small portion is fiber (just under 1 gram) and the rest (about 1.7 grams) is sugar.

The estimated glycemic load of cashews is 3 if you eat about 28g of cashews. The glycemic load helps gauge the effects of a food on blood sugar. It is believed that a glycemic load of less than 10 has little effect on blood sugar response.

1.2 Fats

Most of the calories in cashews come from fat. One serving contains 12 grams of fat. Most fat is monounsaturated fat (6.8 g) or polyunsaturated fat (2.2 g). Unsaturated fats are considered healthier forms of fat.(2) A serving of cashews also contains about 2.2g less healthy saturated fat.

1.3 Protein

Cashew nuts provide just over 5g of protein per serving. For comparison, cashews provide less protein than peanuts, which contain over 7 grams per serving.

1.4 Vitamins and minerals

Cashew nuts provide vitamin K (about 12% of the daily requirement).(3) They also contain thiamin and vitamin B6.

Cashews are an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, and a good source of zinc and iron.

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2. Health Benefits

Eating nuts in general has been associated with certain health benefits. Cashew nuts in particular have a positive influence on the psyche, the cardiovascular system and weight.

2.1 Helps with depression

Cashew nuts are a very good source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our body needs to get from food. This amino acid helps children develop and grow, regulates mood, balances behavior, improves sleep, and can significantly reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.(4)

Just two handfuls of cashews contain between 1,000 and 2,000 mg of tryptophan. This is enough tryptophan to alter and elevate mood.

A growing body of research has found that some people can turn to foods rich in tryptophan, like cashews, instead of taking a prescription drug. Depressive episodes are often triggered when serotonin levels in the body drop, and tryptophan can increase them again.(14)

2.2 Helps with weight control

Nuts make a great snack when you’re trying to lose weight. The healthy fats, protein, and fiber in nuts can help keep you feeling full and satisfied after or between meals. However, since nuts are very high in calories, it is important to consume them in moderation.

A study examining nut consumption found that regular consumption of nuts (about a handful daily) can be used long-term as part of a healthy diet to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.(5) The study examined nuts as a substitute for less healthy foods. It’s unclear from this study whether nuts themselves provide a unique benefit.

2.3 May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

Cashews may help lower LDL cholesterol for some, according to a study published in the 2017 issue of Nutrients journal. Researchers found that eating cashews resulted in an average 24% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels compared to a control diet. Adults with mildly elevated cholesterol levels consumed 28 to 64 grams of cashews per day.(6)

The study authors found that the fatty acid profiles, plant-based proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and phytosterols in cashews and other nuts are responsible for the nuts’ health benefits.

2.4 May reduce the risk of gallstones

There is some evidence that eating nuts may reduce the occurrence of gallstones in both men and women.

According to a major research report, the consumption of nuts has a protective effect against gallstone disease. Above all, the many bioactive components, especially unsaturated fatty acids, fiber and minerals have a positive effect. The authors further cite two large observational studies in which increased nut consumption was associated with reduced incidence of gallstones.(7)

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Independent clinical studies examining gallstone risk and nut consumption in humans have not been conducted.

May help treat or prevent diabetes. Several studies have examined the link between nut consumption and diabetes.

Research found that eating nuts may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Authors of a large review of research found that some women who consumed nuts had a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes when followed over a longer period of time. But not all results could support this conclusion, and the benefit has only been confirmed in women.(7)

Other studies have found that patients with type 2 diabetes may gain health benefits from eating nuts. Research has shown that cashew nut consumption is associated with better insulin control and a better cholesterol ratio in people with diabetes.(8) HDL cholesterol was also elevated and systolic blood pressure was lower.(9)

2.5 Promotes better heart health

Like all nuts, cashews are very high in fat. However, they provide both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels. It’s important to eat them in moderation.(2) Cashews also provide fiber, which has a positive impact on heart health.

Studies also show that a plant-based diet that includes healthy fats and protein from nuts and seeds (instead of meat products) can promote heart health.(10)

Studies have even shown that nut consumption is significantly associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people with type 2 diabetes. 7

3. Allergies

If you have a tree nut allergy, you should avoid cashews. However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, being allergic to one tree nut does not necessarily mean you are allergic to another.(11) However, some nut allergies are closely related, such as: B. cashew and pistachio.

Anyone who suspects an allergy to cashews or other tree nuts should seek advice from their doctor or health care professional prior to consumption. Symptoms of a tree nut reaction can be severe.(11)

4. Adverse Effects

Those who harvest and process cashews must be careful because the inside of the cashew husk contains a corrosive liquid related to poison ivy.(12) Farmers wear gloves and face shields to protect against exposure and the Liquid is removed long before the cashews hit the shelves.

The nuts themselves are safe to eat, although some people find they feel bloated the day after eating nuts. You probably won’t get bloated from the nuts themselves. However, if the nuts are heavily salted, the increased sodium intake can cause a temporary increase in water weight.

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5. Cashew Varieties

Cashews are available in most stores year-round. They can be found pure or in nut mixes. Cashews can be roasted in oil or flavored with ingredients high in sodium or high in sugar. Pay attention to the nutritional information, as it differs significantly from that of pure cashews.

6. Cashewkern-Butter

Cashew butter is a spread made from roasted cashews. If you need nut butter for a protein boost, peanut butter is a better choice.(13) However, some prefer the milder flavor of cashew butter.

Ultimately, the nut butter’s nutritional value depends on the ingredients that are added during processing. Look for a nut butter that contains only nuts. Some may also contain added oil. Try to avoid nut butters with added sugars or excessive sodium content.

7. Cashew Milk

Cashew milk can be a good choice for those looking to avoid the lactose found in dairy products. Note, however, that many nut milks like cashew milk may contain other ingredients like added sugars and may not provide as many micronutrients (like calcium) as dairy.

Also pay attention to the nutritional information and the list of ingredients of the nut milk.

8. Storage and Food Safety

Store nuts in an airtight container at room temperature. They should stay fresh for about three months. Keeping them in the refrigerator can extend their lifespan up to six months. If they are frozen, you can use them for about a year.

9. Prepare cashew nuts

Cashews can be eaten raw or roasted. Many people describe it as having a creamy, sweet texture that pairs well with savory and salty foods.

Sprinkle roasted or raw nuts over a salad, oatmeal, or granola for a protein boost, or add them to a small portion of ice cream. When soaked in water, they work well in various sauces and go well with sweet recipes for snacking.

10. Tasty recipes and ideas with cashew nuts

  • Indian curry
  • Cashew date bar with chocolate drops
  • Strawberry Cashew Ice Cream
  • Strawberry smoothie with cashew nuts
  • Vegetable soup with cashew nuts

health is delicious

Integrating healthy foods into your diet is often easier than you think. Combinations of healthy and nutritious foods enliven everyday life, provide more energy and pleasure when eating. Because food should not only be healthy, but taste good, give you strength and make you happy.

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