Cashew, cashew nuts, cashew seeds, Kaju are different names for the same thing and is a widely consumed nut all over the world, and grows on the cashew tree.More precisely, cashew apple grows on cashew nuts, and cashew nuts grow on cashew tree. Cashew nuts are widely consumed all over the world in many ways.Eating cashew nuts is good for our health because of the number of compounds like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, etc. present in them. In this article, we will know about the health benefits of cashews in detail, but first, let’s take a look at below mentioned nutrition chart of cashew nuts.
Nutrition Chart of Cashew Nuts
Health Benefits Of Cashew Nuts
(1) Keep Our Cardiovascular System Healthy
Eating cashew nuts is very beneficial for our heart and keep our cardiovascular system healthy because of the presence of a good number of healthy dietary fats in it. These fats are essential for our body as they help in the proper absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K. Other than this, the inclusion of other fats like monounsaturated fats(MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) also make cashew nuts beneficial for our heart.
Moderate consumption of cashew nuts helps in controlling cholesterol level as they reduce bad cholesterol level ( LDL cholesterol) and increase good cholesterol level (HDL cholesterol ). The presence of high level of LDL cholesterol can be a threat to our cardiovascular system and give rise to heart problems like heart attack, stroke, hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis ), etc.
The best way to minimize the risk of these cardiovascular problems is to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol level. Studies have demonstrated that cashew nuts and other foods that are rich in unsaturated fats are very useful for this as they enhance the level of HDL cholesterol, reduces triglyceride levels and also helps in regulating blood pressure. High blood pressure is also a major cause of the cardiovascular problem but eating cashew nuts also helps in controlling blood pressure level under control and thus helps in keeping cardiovascular system healthy.
(2) Reduces High Blood Pressure
Moderate consumption of cashew nuts is very beneficial for regulating high blood pressure level because of the presence of magnesium in it.High blood pressure or hypertension can be a threat to our cardiovascular system and give rise to various heart problems like heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, etc. and it can even be a threat to our life.
As per a report published by World Heart Foundation, hypertension is an important cause of premature death and going by the current growth rate; there will be around 1.58 billion adults suffering from hypertension in the year 2025 AD. Hypertension is considered as a silent killer as often there are no warnings or symptoms and people suffering from hypertension are more likely to develop diabetes ( which is an another health problem that takes the life of millions every year as there is no proper cure till date ).
Because of such high health risks associated with high blood pressure or hypertension, it is better to keep our blood pressure level under control, and cashew nuts are very useful in doing the same.
(3) Keep Our Nervous System And Muscles Healthy
Regular and moderate consumption of cashew nuts is very effective for making our nervous system healthy and for keeping our muscles strong because of the good amount of magnesium present in it. Magnesium is a vital compound that plays a very important role in the healthy development of bones, muscles, tissues and organs of the body.
It also helps in regulating blood pressure level, reduces the risk of the various cardiovascular problems, maintains nerve function, boost immunity and strengthens our bones. Magnesium is also involved in the metabolic functions of our body as they influence the insulin activity and regulates blood sugar.
Deficiency of magnesium can interfere with the calcium metabolism and hormones responsible for its regulation. Because of this reason, it is very important to have a recommended dosage of magnesium in our diet. ( RDA for magnesium is 350 mg for adult males and 300 milligrams for adult females. As per many experts, recommended consumption of magnesium depends on age, weight, and gender and for rough estimation can be taken as 6 milligrams of magnesium per kg of body weight ).
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(4) Good For People who have Diabetes
Eating cashew nuts is very beneficial for the diabetic patients because of the low amount of sugar present in it. The glycemic index of cashew nuts is 25 which means cashew nuts is considered as a low glycemic index food and releases sugar into our blood stream at a slow pace. High level of magnesium in cashew nuts also plays an important role in benefitting diabetic patients by regulating blood sugar level of our body.
Consuming cashew nuts also help in lowering the risk of type-2 diabetes. As per some studies, diabetes tends to increase the bad cholesterol level of our body and decrease good cholesterol level and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. This condition is known as diabetic dyslipidemia. However, cashew nuts are very effective in controlling this, and it makes sure that bad cholesterol level decreases and good cholesterol level increase.
(5) Prevents Development Of Several Types Of Cancer
Regular and moderate consumption of cashew nuts is very beneficial for reducing the risk of development of various types of cancer because of the compounds like antioxidants, flavonoids, etc. present in them. These antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body stabilizes the unstabilized ions and thus prevents them from doing damage to our body cells and reduces the risk of cancer. They are very effective in fighting against the tumor cells and stops them from dividing further. Other than this, the presence of copper in cashew nuts also plays an important role in fighting against cancerous cells and keep various types of cancer at bay.
As per a research, the presence of antioxidants like acardiac acids, Cardinals, and carols in cashews make them very beneficial for people undergoing chemotherapy, but some experts disagree with this, and as per them, the presence of too much fungus on cashew nuts make them unsuitable to be consumed during chemotherapy stage. So, it is better to consult with your doctor about the same ( if you are already battling with cancer or tumor ) but in general, they are very effective in reducing the risk of several types of cancer.
(6) Maintains Cellular Health
Cashew nuts are an excellent source of copper which is a vital nutrient that plays a very important role in keeping us healthy. It helps in the metabolism of iron, helps in the formation of red blood cells, keep our bones and immune system stronger and healthier, and is also vital for proper functioning of our nervous system and skeletal system of our body. Lack of copper in our body can be very dangerous and may give rise to several health complications like osteoporosis, irregular heartbeats, and anemia. Cashew nuts are very effective in preventing us from all these dangers of copper deficiency.
(7) Maintains Oral Health And Keep Our Bones Stronger
Consuming cashew nuts is very beneficial for the healthy development of bones and teeth because of the phosphorus present in it. Phosphorus is an important compound that plays an important role in keeping our bones healthy, aids in the synthesis of protein, proper absorption of fats and carbohydrates, and maintains overall cellular health. Phosphorus is also effective in keeping our kidneys healthy, improves brain function and maintains hormonal balance (source).
(8) Reduces The Risk Of Anemia
Regular and moderate consumption of cashew nuts is very reducing the risk of anemia, because of the high level of the dietary iron present in cashew nuts. Iron is a vital nutrient that plays an important role in improving the oxygen carrying capacity of our red blood cells and ensures that oxygenated blood reaches every single cell of our body. It also helps in the functioning of enzymes and makes our immune system stronger. Deficiency of iron can give rise to many health problems like body fatigue, anemia and increased risk of getting ill and suffering from infections.
(9) Reduces The Risk Of Gallstones Formation
Eating cashew nuts on a regular basis and in a moderate quantity is very effective in reducing the risk of formation of gallstones in our body. Gallstones are stone-like deposits that mainly consists of cholesterol and these cholesterol stones get accumulated in the gall bladder and are known as gallstones. A gallstone may cause severe abdominal pain and other complications by interfering with the function of liver and kidneys (depending upon the size and position of gallstones (source). Cashew nuts are very effective in regulating the cholesterol level by decreasing bad cholesterol level and increases good cholesterol level, and in this way, they help in lowering the risk of formation of gallstones.
(10) Make Our Immune System Stronger
Consuming cashew nuts on a regular basis ( but in moderation ) is very effective in making our immune system stronger because of the presence of antioxidants and zinc in it. Antioxidants fights with the unstabilized ions of our body stabilize them and prevent them from damaging our body cells (including the immune system cells), and the zinc plays a vital role in making our system stronger against the microbial infections, helps in protein synthesis and quick healing of wounds.
The immune system of our body plays a very important role in keeping us healthy as it fights with the foreign pathogens that try to invade our body and harm us by spreading diseases. The stronger immune system is more capable of preventing us from falling ill, and even if we get ill, it ensures quick healing.
In addition to this, zinc is extremely important for the proper growth and development of the baby during the pregnancy stage and in childhood years.
(11) Is Effective For Losing Weight
Cashew nuts are high in calories, and a single serving of 100 grams of cashew nuts can provide as much as 553 calories of energy, 44 grams of fat and 30 grams of carbohydrates (source). However, even after all these values, regular and moderate consumption of cashew nuts is effective in losing weight because of the good cholesterol present in it.Cashew nuts help in reducing the buildup of fat and cholesterol in our heart and helps in managing weight.
As per a research conducted by Harvard University, those who eat two servings of nuts a day are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. The study suggests that one should replace animal fats and proteins with the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats ( cashew nuts is rich in this ) for efficient weight management.
Although cashew nuts are effective in weight loss, it is important to eat them in moderation as they are also high in calories and eating them too much may lead to weight gain.
(12) Keep Our Eyes Healthy
Our eyes are windows to the world as they allow us to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful planet. It is, therefore, important for us to take good care of our eyes. Cashew nuts are very effective in keeping our eyes healthy and preventing our eyesight from damage caused by the harmful radiation of sun rays, and even decrease the occurrence of cataracts. This benefit of cashew nuts is mainly because of the high level of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin present in it.
(13) Reduces The Risk Of Macular Degeneration
Eating cashew nuts is good for our eyes not just because they keep our eyes healthy and improves eyesight but also because they protect our eyes from the harmful radiation of the sun and reduces the risk of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is caused by the reorientation of the central portion of the retina (also known as macula) and can lead to blurred vision and even blindness. (source).
(14) Provides Relief From Depression
These days we are living a very fast paced life and stress have penetrated in our life so much so that now it feels like a part of our life.This is not at all healthy as stress/depression can give rise to many health complications like asthma, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems etc. ( source )and it is, therefore, important for us to keep stress and depression away from our life, and cashew nuts are very effective in helping us doing the same.
It has been claimed that when it comes to providing relief from depression then eating a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts provide as much benefit as provided by the antidepressant prescription. This antidepressant benefit of cashew nuts is mainly because of the L-tryptophan amino acid present in cashews. This amino acid breaks down into niacin and serotonin, and the compounds calm anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing.
(15) Is A Good Source Of Vitamin K
Cashew nuts are a good source of vitamin K which is an essential vitamin that provides a lot of benefits like help in the formation of blood clots and minimizes blood loss at the time of injury, make our bones stronger and decreases the risk of bone fractures, reduces the risk of cancer, is good for our brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive diseases.
(16) Helps In Conversion Of Energy
As mentioned earlier, cashew nuts are an excellent source of energy because of the high amount of calories present in them. One can get around 553 calories of energy from 100 grams of cashew nuts and this makes cashew nuts very beneficial for the energy formation in our body.
In addition to this, the presence of thiamine in cashews also plays an important role in creating energy in our body. Thiamine is a vital nutrient that converts sugar into energy and lack of this compound can lead to the health problems that ranges from muscle pain to memory loss.
These were some of the major health benefits of cashew nuts. Although cashews are loaded with number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. and provides a lot of health benefits, but still there are some side effects of cashew nuts that may arise when it is consumed in excess. For this reason, it is advisable to eat cashews in moderation.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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