Cashew nuts are delicious, nutritious snacks made from the fruit of the cashew tree. They’re rich in protein and fiber and contain healthy fats. Cashews are often used in baking, salad dressings, dips, sauces, and smoothies.
Cashews are rich in essential nutrients and provide many benefits such as weight loss, heart health, brain function, kidney health, and skin care.
In this article, we will cover the importance of cashews in maintaining kidney health.
Are cashews good for kidneys?
Eating cashews in moderation is good for our kidneys as cashews are rich in essential nutrients that improve our kidney health.
Cashews contain many essential nutrients that improve our kidney health.
Some of them are as follows
1. Vitamin E
Vitamin E in cashews improves kidney function(1).
Research published in the Journal of Nephrology suggests that vitamin E supplements help prevent kidney stones.
Kidney stones form when minerals become concentrated in urine due to dehydration, poor diet, or certain medications. The most common type of stone is calcium oxalate, which forms when excess amounts of calcium and oxalic acid combine in the body. Oxalic acid is produced during the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.
Studies show that supplementing with vitamin E decreases the amount of oxalic acid in the urine (2), making it less likely that calcium oxalate crystals will form. This means that vitamin E may reduce the chances of forming kidney stones.
Researchers believe that vitamin E increases the excretion of oxalic acid through the kidneys. They theorize that this process prevents the formation of calcium oxalate crystals in the urine.
2. Vitamin K
Vitamin K in cashews plays a major role in keeping our kidneys healthy.
Vitamin K plays a role in preventing calcium stones (kidney stones) and reducing the risk of chronic kidney disease (3).
3. Vitamin C
Cashews contain vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining kidney health (4). Vitamin C helps prevent kidney stones and protects against damage to the kidneys caused by certain medications.
People who drink plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in vitamin C may reduce their risk of developing kidney stones.
But, too much vitamin C may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.
4. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 in cashews has been shown to be beneficial for improving kidney health (5).
Vitamin B3 is an antioxidant that can protect your kidneys from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals build up inside cells. Free radicals cause cell damage and contribute to many diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Free radicals also play a role in causing kidney stones. Kidneys filter blood and remove waste products. When there is too much waste in the bloodstream, the kidneys have to work harder to get rid of it. Over time, this extra workload can lead to inflammation and scarring in the kidneys.
Oxidative stress can increase the likelihood of developing kidney stones. Antioxidants like vitamin B3 can help keep free radicals at bay.
Folate is another nutrient found in cashews that contributes to keeping our kidneys healthy (6) . Folate acid is one of several types of folic acids. It’s important because it helps produce red blood cells and other parts of the blood.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who ate more than 400 micrograms per day had a lower risk of developing kidney stones than those who consumed less than 200 micrograms per day.
A separate study published in the British Medical Journal showed that women who took supplements containing folic acid were less likely to develop kidney stones than women who did not take any supplements.
Cashews contain magnesium which is needed for the proper functioning of the body’s organs, including the kidneys (7). When your kidneys aren’t getting enough magnesium, they may become damaged over time.
Potassium is another mineral found in cashews that are needed for the proper function of the body’s organs, including the kidneys (8) . Potassium helps maintain fluid balance in the body. This is especially important during times of illness or physical activity.
When you don’t get enough potassium, your kidneys are forced to work overtime to regulate sodium levels in the body. If you’re already prone to high blood pressure, then having low potassium levels could make things worse.
However, keep in mind that too much potassium is bad for people with chronic kidney disease and also increases the risk of chronic kidney disease.
Calcium is yet another mineral found in cashew nuts that plays a vital role in keeping our kidneys healthy. Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth. It also helps muscles contract properly.
When your kidneys aren’t getting enough calcium, they may become weak and unable to perform their job well.
Phosphorus is another mineral found in cashews that is important for maintaining good health. Phosphorus helps form the backbone of DNA and RNA. It also helps with energy production in the body.
When your kidneys aren’t getting sufficient amounts of phosphorus, they may be unable to do their jobs as effectively.
Zinc in cashews is an essential trace element that’s required by many enzymes in the body. Zinc is also necessary for the growth and maintenance of bone tissue.
When your kidneys are deficient in zinc, they may experience problems with protein metabolism.
Cashews contain copper, another trace element that is important for the proper functioning of all of the body’s systems. Copper helps keep the skin, hair, nails, eyes, ears, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, pancreas, heart, brain, and bones strong and healthy.
When your kidneys don’t have enough copper, they may not be able to process waste products correctly.
Although cashews are good for keeping our kidneys healthy, it is advised to eat cashews in moderation as they are high in oxalates that bind to minerals such as magnesium and potassium and decrease their absorption. In the long run, it may increase the risk of kidney stones.
To stay safe, eat cashews moderately.
This article has been backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the quality and correctness of the article, readers are advised to do their own research and make an informed decision. For any guidance, consult your doctor.
1 “Vitamin E may slow kidney failure owing to oxidative stress – PubMed.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9754323/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
2 “Supplementation of vitamin E and selenium prevents hyperoxaluria ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12873711/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
3 “Role of Vitamin K in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Focus on Bone and ….” 9 May. 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9099759/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
4 “Evaluation of Vitamin C Supplementation on Kidney Function and ….” 15 Jul. 2016, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27415798/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
5 “Niacin in patients with chronic kidney disease: Is it effective and safe?.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716114/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
6 “Efficacy of Folic Acid Therapy on the Progression of Chronic Kidney ….” 22 Aug. 2016, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2544880. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
7 “Oral Magnesium Supplementation in Chronic Kidney Disease ….” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5678662/. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.
8 “Potassium and Your CKD Diet – National Kidney Foundation.” https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium. Accessed 28 Jul. 2022.