The Surprising Health Benefits Of Cashews: A Complete Guide

Are cashews healthy? Cashews are more than just a tasty snack. Did you know they're also a great source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, & essential minerals? In addition, cashews may have various health benefits, from improving heart health to aiding in energy production, weight loss & more. So next time you're looking for a quick & nutritious snack, reach for a handful of cashews! Want to learn more about the benefits of cashews? Keep reading below!


Cashew Nut Benefits


Overview of Cashew Nuts


Cashews are also known by other names in different parts of the world. For example, in Spanish-speaking countries, they are known as nueces de marañón, while in Portuguese-speaking countries, they are called castanha de caju. In many parts of Asia, they are known as "cashew nuts."


Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces a nut commonly referred to as a cashew nut. Cashew belongs to the Anacardiaceae family & the genus Anacardium. The cashew kernel is a seed located at the bottom of the cashew apple, the cashew tree's fruit. Cashews are native to Brazil but are now widely cultivated in other tropical regions, including Africa, Asia, & South America.


Cashew kernels are the edible part of the cashew nut, the seed of the cashew fruit. The cashew nut is encased (covered) in a hard shell, surrounded by a caustic toxic substance called cashew nutshell liquid. Once the shell & liquid are removed, the edible kernel is left, a rich source of nutrients such as healthy fats, protein, vitamins, & minerals.


History & Cultivation Of Cashews


The history of cashews can be traced back to Brazil, where the indigenous Tupi people first cultivated the trees. Portuguese explorers introduced cashews to other parts of the world, including India, where they quickly became popular. Today, India is one of the world's largest producers & exporters of cashews.


Use Of Cashews In Ayurvedic Medicine


Cashews have been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for many years to treat various disorders. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda suggests that cashews are particularly beneficial for the digestive system & can help to improve the absorption of nutrients in the body. They are also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties & help boost the immune system.


Cashew Nutrition Facts


Cashews are nutrient-dense nuts containing various essential nutrients that are beneficial for overall health. The nutritional profile of cashews: 


  • Calories: 157 kcal
  • Total Fat: 12.43 g (19% DV)
  • Saturated Fat: 2.22 g (11% DV)
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.87 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.60 g
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 5.6 mg
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 1559 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8.56 g (3% DV)
  • Fiber: 0.9 g (4% DV)
  • Sugars: 1.69 g
  • Protein: 5.17 g (10% DV)
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.423 mg (28% RDI)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.058 mg (3% RDI)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.853 mg (4% RDI)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.262 mg (13% RDI)
  • Folate: 14 µg (3.5% RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 0.90 mg (4% RDI)
  • Vitamin K: 9.6 µg (12% RDI)
  • Calcium: 10 mg (1% DV)
  • Iron: 1.89 mg (11% DV)
  • Magnesium: 83 mg (21% DV)
  • Phosphorus: 168 mg (17% DV)
  • Potassium: 187 mg (4% DV)
  • Sodium: 12 mg (0.5% DV)
  • Zinc: 1.64 mg (11% DV)
  • Copper: 0.622 mg (31% DV)
  • Manganese: 0.492 mg (25% DV)


Note that the percentages are based on a 2,000-calorie diet & may vary depending on individual dietary needs.



Cashew Nut Benefits


Are cashews good for you? Are cashews healthy? Cashew is a superfood with many health benefits. These health benefits are:


1. Heart Health: 


Cashews contain monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels & lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. These healthy fats can also help reduce inflammation & improve blood vessel function. 


Heart Health


According to a study, consuming cashews can reduce total & LDL cholesterol. The study involved 51 adults with or at risk of high LDL cholesterol who consumed either cashews or potato chips for 28 days with a washout period in between. The results showed that the cashew diet significantly decreased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, & non-HDL cholesterol compared to the control diet. The study suggests that incorporating cashews into the diet may be a simple strategy to manage cholesterol levels.


Cashews also contain antioxidants such as vitamin E & selenium, which have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.


2. Blood Sugar Control: 


Cashews have a low glycemic index & are rich in fiber, protein, & healthy fats, all of which can help regulate blood sugar levels. One study found that including cashews in the diet can help improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, the magnesium content in cashews may also influence blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity.


cashew benefits for Blood Sugar Control


According to a randomized controlled trial, daily consumption of cashews for eight weeks can reduce serum insulin & LDL-C/HDL-C ratio in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, there were no significant weight, BMI, or waist circumference changes between the intervention & control groups.


3. Energy Production: 


Cashews are a good source of magnesium (a mineral) that plays an essential role in energy production in the body. Magnesium converts food into energy & supports the proper functioning of enzymes involved in energy metabolism. Several studies have linked magnesium deficiency to decreased energy levels & chronic fatigue syndrome. Cashews contain approximately 20% of the daily recommended magnesium intake per ounce, making them a great choice for boosting energy levels naturally.


4. Weight Management: 


Cashews are a good source of protein & fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness & reduce overall calorie intake. Also, studies have shown that including nuts like cashews can aid in weight loss & management. 


Are cashews fattening? Cashews do contain a considerable amount of fat, but they can still be included in a healthy diet in moderation. One ounce of cashews (approximately 18) contains around 160 calories & 13 grams of fat. Although, most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated, which is considered a healthy fat that can help improve metabolism & promote fat burning.


5. Bone Health: 


Cashews are a good source of magnesium (83 mg of 21% DV), which plays a key role in bone formation & maintenance. Adequate magnesium intake has been linked to a lower risk of osteoporosis & fractures. Cashews also contain other bone-building nutrients, such as calcium & phosphorus.




6. Brain Health: 


Cashews are rich in nutrients essential for brain health, including magnesium, zinc, & vitamin E. These nutrients protect against cognitive decline & improve memory & concentration. In addition, the healthy fats in cashews may also help improve brain function & reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.


7. Digestive Health: 


Cashews are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help promote regularity & prevent constipation. Additionally, the healthy fats in cashews can help improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins & promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This can help improve overall digestive health & reduce the risk of digestive disorders.


8. Cancer Prevention: 


Cashews contain proanthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid that has been shown to help prevent cancer by stopping the growth & spread of cancer cells. Several studies have found that proanthocyanidins can inhibit the growth of various cancer cells, including breast, colon, & prostate. Additionally, the antioxidants found in cashews, including vitamin E & selenium, may help protect against cancer by neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body.


9. Skin Health: 


Cashews are a good copper source, essential for producing collagen & elastin, two important proteins for healthy skin. Cashews also contain antioxidants such as vitamin E, which can help protect the skin from oxidative damage & improve skin health. The zinc content in cashews may also help reduce inflammation & promote wound healing.


dry fruit for Skin Health


10. Immunity: 


Cashews are also a good source of zinc, a mineral essential in maintaining a healthy immune system. Zinc helps support the immune system by aiding in the development & function of immune cells. It also helps reduce inflammation & oxidative stress in the body, which can weaken the immune system. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency can lead to an increased risk of infections & impaired immune function. Adding cashews to your diet can help boost your immune system naturally.


11. Dental Health: 


Cashews contain compounds that can help kill bacteria that cause tooth decay & gum disease. Specifically, cashews contain anacardic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of several oral bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria commonly associated with tooth decay. Additionally, the act of chewing cashews can stimulate saliva production, which can help neutralize harmful bacteria in the mouth & promote healthy teeth & gums.


12. Fetal Development: 


Cashew nuts benefits for female, especially pregnant women. Cashews are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that is important for healthy fetal development. Adequate folate intake during pregnancy can help prevent brain & spine birth defects, such as spina bifida. One ounce of cashews contains approximately 10% of the daily recommended intake of folate, making them a great snack choice for pregnant women.


14. Eye Health: 


Cashews are a good source of zeaxanthin, a pigment that protects the retina from damage caused by UV rays. Therefore, regular consumption of cashews can help maintain good eye health.



How to Incorporate Cashew Benefits Into Your Diet


Cashews are a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various dishes & also can be eaten in raw form. 


Boost your well-being with cashew benefits with these few ideas:


1. Snack on them: Whole cashews make for a delicious & nutritious snack on their own.


cachew recipes

2. Use as a topping: Sprinkle chopped cashews on top of salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or desserts for added crunch & flavor.

3. Make nut butter: Blend cashews in a food processor until smooth to make homemade cashew butter. Use it as a spread or dip for fruits & veggies.

4. Add to stir-fries: Cashews make a great addition to stir-fries, adding flavor, texture, & nutrition to the dish.

5. Make a vegan cheese: Cashews can be blended with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, & other seasonings to make a delicious vegan cheese.

6. Use in baking: Cashews can be ground into flour instead of regular flour in baked goods for a gluten-free option.

7. Make a trail mix: Combine cashews with other nuts, seeds, & dried fruit for a healthy & satisfying trail mix.



    Side Effects Of Cashew Nuts


    While cashew nuts have numerous health benefits, overconsumption or inappropriately consuming them can have side effects. Some of the common side effects of cashew nuts are:


    1. Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to cashews & other tree nuts, which can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of nut allergies include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, & anaphylaxis.

    2. Weight Gain: Cashews are high in calories & fat, so overconsumption can lead to weight gain. It's essential to eat them in moderation & control portion sizes.

    3. Constipation: Overeating or consuming cashews without drinking enough water can cause constipation, a condition in which bowel movements become difficult & infrequent.



      Precautions To Take With Eating Cashew Nuts


      To avoid cashew nuts' side effects, taking some precautions while consuming them is essential. Here are some tips:


      1. Moderation: Eating cashews in moderation can prevent weight gain & other adverse effects.

      2. Soaking: Soaking cashews overnight before eating them can help reduce the phytate content, making them easier to digest & preventing digestive issues like constipation.

      3. Raw Cashews: It is better to eat cashews in their raw form rather than salted or roasted cashews, which may contain high amounts of oil that can negatively impact your health.

      4. Allergies: Avoid cashews & other nuts altogether if you have a known nut allergy. If cashew nuts cause side effects, consult with a doctor.


        Note: It's also important to note that cashew nuts have no significant drug interactions with medicines. However, it's always best to seek the advice of your doctor about possible interactions with other drugs.



        Buy Namhya Cashew Kernels Whole: A Nutritious Delight!


        Looking for a tasty & healthy snack option? Look no further than Namhya Cashew Kernels Whole! Our premium quality cashews are packed with essential nutrients, making them the perfect addition to your diet.





        Our cashews are gluten-free, vegan, & rich in plant-based protein, making them the perfect snack for people with dietary restrictions. With a crunchy texture & a buttery, rich flavor, Namhya Cashew Kernels Whole are perfect for snacking, cooking, & baking.


        Our cashews are sourced from the finest groves, ensuring the highest quality & freshness. We carefully handpick & roast our cashews to perfection, preserving their natural flavor & goodness. Cashew benefits are backed by science, as studies show they may help lower cholesterol levels & reduce inflammation in the body.


        So why wait? Treat yourself to the healthy & delicious taste of Namhya Cashew Kernels Whole today! Buy now & experience the ultimate snacking experience.

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        Ridhima Arora

        Ridhima Arora is an Indian entrepreneur, author, trained yoga instructor, and practicing nutritionist. She is the founder of Namhya Foods.Besides being the founder of Namhya foods, Ridhima also gives nutrition coaching in seminars to kids, NGOs, and corporates. She also works as a freelancer at Global Changemakers.