Health Benefits of Cashews
Cashews are a unique nut that actually grows as the seed of a “cashew apple”, an accessory fruit that grows on the evergreen cashew tree. Native to Brazil, the kidney-shaped nut eventually found its way to east when Portugese colonists brought the cashew apples back with them. Now, cashews are mass produced in India, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Nigeria, and they have become a main staple of many cuisines, especially Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese. But why did they go global so fast? At the end of the day, it was the health benefits of cashews. Cashews are a great source of healthy fats and protein. In this century, cashews provide the right kind of taste and texture to be a great base for many dairy alternatives. Lactose intolerant? Try some cashew milk, cashew cheese, or cashew butter. That’s just the start — there are a multitude of health benefits to be gained by consuming this superfood.
Overall, science shows that consuming more plant-based foods can reduce the risk of health issues that are related to lifestyle. The health benefits of cashews in particular provide a diverse bolus of minerals and vitamins that the body must have to be healthy and balanced. One ounce of cashews has:
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Fat: 12 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
- Vitamin K: 9.5 mcg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.1 mg
- Copper: 0.6 mg
- Potassium: 87 mg
- Magnesium: 83 mg
- Calcium: 10 mg
- Sodium: 3 mg
- Folate: 7 ug
Here at Health Warrior, we love our superfoods and the cashew is a big one. Barring a tree nut allergy, there are plenty of good reasons to pick up some cashews on your next grocery trip.
Health Benefits of Cashews:
Cashews have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (aka “good” fats) that can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Lower levels reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to improved heart health, the quirky cashew can protect against gallstone disease and reduce the need for a cholecystectomy, also known as a gallbladder removal. “Bad” fats can do a number on the gallbladder, which may need to be removed if it’s damaged badly enough. But the mighty cashew can help you avoid that outcome.
Remember earlier when we mentioned that cashews had a lot of magnesium? The number was 187 mg of magnesium in just 1 oz. That is a lot of magnesium in a tiny, tasty nut. Magnesium is great because it promotes good bone density by helping the body process calcium, or “assimilate” it in bone cells. That’s just the long-term effect of maintaining the right amount of magnesium in your body. Magnesium is required for energy production. Need a healthy energy boost? Try some cashews.
It can be hard to find foods that provide enough copper to meet our daily demands, but the cashew solves that problem by itself. At 622 mcgs, copper from a serving of cashews meets at least two-thirds of our daily recommended intake. But what happens if we don’t get enough copper? Our bone mineral density decreases, which puts us at an increased risk of osteoporosis. In addition to bone health, copper helps the body maintain collagen and elastin — each of which we need for our connective tissues. They enable the replacement of damaged connective tissue and aid in bone repair.
Cashews come equipped with 7ug of folate. It’s a B vitamin that promotes healthy red and white blood cell production. It also has a role to play in the creation of DNA and other genetic material, which is what we need for proper cell division. Folate, or it’s synthesized form “folic acid”, may also sound familiar to anyone who’s taken prenatal vitamins, as it is one of the prime reasons why pregnant women take supplements throughout their entire pregnancy. Its effect on fetal growth and development makes it essential! Whether your body is using that cell division to repair tissues or grow new life, folate is a great addition to any diet.
Cashew butter is an ingredient in our Chia Bars! Take advantage of the health benefits of cashews with our Chia Bar Rainbow Box!