Are Cashews Good For You Nutrition Benefits And Downsides
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Cashews are a kidney-shaped seed sourced from the cashew tree a tropical tree native to Brazil but now cultivated in various warm climates across the world.
While raw cashews are widely sold, truly raw cashews are not safe to eat, as they contain a substance known as urushiol, found in poison ivy. Urushiol is toxic, and contact with it can trigger a skin reaction in some people.
Cashew kernels are cooked in processing to remove this toxic liquid, and this resulting product is sold as raw.
Although commonly referred to as tree nuts, and nutritionally comparable to them, cashews are really seeds. Theyre rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds and make for an easy addition to many dishes.
Like most nuts, cashews may also help improve your overall health. Theyve been linked to benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and a healthier heart.
This article reviews the nutrition, benefits, and downsides of cashews to determine whether theyre good for you.
Due to their similar antioxidant profile, cashews may be expected to offer similar oxidation-fighting benefits. This may be particularly true of roasted cashews, which appear to have an increased antioxidant activity compared with their raw counterparts .
So How Many Cashews Can I Eat Per Day
Cashew cream used in curries or on salads is actually really tasty and amazingly filling.
Now, even though most of the nut is fat, a healthy fat, it’s still a lot of calories. That’s why you should eat nuts like cashews in moderation. Therefore, 10-30 grams of cashews per day are good to consume.
20 to 25% of your overall calories coming in from whole fats like seeds, nuts, olives and avocados are essential.
Cashews are nutrient-dense foods filed with numerous health benefits. Nuts like cashews help boost HDL and lower your LDL and triglyceride levels.
Cashews also have a lot of antioxidants and minerals providing several health benefits to your body. They are abundant with monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are linked to reduced cardiovascular disease risk.
Additionally, since nuts contain fiber, they in fact help you to lower your cholesterol.
Cashew Nuts For A Strong Immune System
Cashews actually have a positive influence on the immune system. One of the reasons for this is that they contain plenty of zinc. Zinc has antioxidant properties and thus counteracts free radicals that could otherwise harm our organism. Zinc can also help to improve the structure of mucous membranes. This makes it more difficult for viruses and bacteria to penetrate the organism.
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Do Almonds Lower Cholesterol
There have been multiple studies that have looked at the effect that almonds have on lipids, and the results appear promising. These studies have looked at a wide range of individuals, including those with high cholesterol, normal cholesterol levels, diabetes, and who are obese, consuming anywhere between 20 to 168 g of almonds a day for 4 to 16 weeks. This is roughly equivalent to 1 to 6 handfuls of almonds a day. In some studies, almonds replaced some of the fats consumed in the diet, whereas in other cases, almonds were added to a healthy diet. Almonds used in these studies were either raw, roasted, or supplemented in other healthy foods.
Studies to date have suggested that almond consumption may be associated with reduced cholesterol levels of 3% to 25% and with reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 4% to 35%
Larger studies are required to confirm these promising results.
The effects of almonds on HDL cholesterol vary. While some studies have noted a slight increase in HDL of up to about 4%. other studies have seen no impact on HDL levels. In most studies, triglyceride levels also appear unaffected by almond consumption.
Cashew Nuts For A Functioning Metabolism
Especially minerals like copper, iron and zinc have a positive effect on the metabolism. They not only play an important role in energy production, but also ensure optimal oxygen transport, as iron is an essential component of haemoglobin .
The B vitamins also ensure optimal metabolism they are not only essential for the energy metabolism of skin cells, but also regulate protein and carbohydrate metabolism and thus play an important role in supplying cells with essential nutrients.
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The Fatty Goodness In Cashews
Not all fats are created equal, and the bulk of the fat found in cashews falls into the good-for-you fat category. Accordingly, cashews can actually lower, not raise, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as the bad type.
“Cashews contain very good sources of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fatty acids,” says Qi Sun, MD, an associate professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We have very good data showing that nut consumption significantly reduces your risk of developing coronary heart disease.”
Indeed, a March 2017 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate one to two servings of cashews a day for a month had 5 percent lower bad cholesterol levels than people who ate potato chips.
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Cashews Lower Bad Cholesterol
Cashews do contain saturated fat. However, most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated fat, which is good for heart health: a 2-ounce serving of cashews contains 2 grams of saturated fat and 16 grams of unsaturated fat. Therefore, you dont have to worry about eating cashews to increase the bad fats in your body. In fact, eating cashews regularly can lower LDL and total cholesterol levels, making them part of a heart-healthy diet.
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Do Cashews Increase Cholesterol Here’s What Rujuta Diwekar Has To Say
Busting some myths about cashews is celeb nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar on social media. In a short clip shared on social media, Rujuta shares reasons why you must include cashews in your diet.
“Cashews are the produce of India and Africa and they are just as good as almonds and walnuts, if not any better. But you will still have doctors and dietitians who recommend eating almonds and walnuts but not cashews as they have cholesterol in them,” says Rujuta in the video.
However, the truth is that cashews do not contain cholesterol. In fact, cashews are a powerhouse of nutrients that can help treat occasional numbness in foot that people with diabetes often experience. Eating a handful of cashews every day will also help in reducing leg cramps at night. Cashews are also beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels.
Rujuta goes on to inform that the fruit of cashew is five times richer in Vitamin C than one orange. Apart from being good for boosting immunity, Vitamin C is also cardio protective. The nutrient can give you healthy joints and heart.
What Is The Connection Between Cashew Nuts And Cholesterol
One of the connections between cashew nuts and cholesterol is that cashew nuts have the ability to lower cholesterol levels. Although they are high in fat, cashews are regarded as low-fat nuts because their fat content is lower than many other nuts. The main type of fat that is contained in the nuts is unsaturated fat, which is able to maintain healthy cholesterol levels when combined with a healthy diet. Another link between cashews and cholesterol is due to the fact that they are able to lower high triglycerides and reduce the absorption of cholesterol.
Unsaturated fats, namely oleic acid and omega-3fatty acids, are primary factors that connect cashew nuts and cholesterol. This is because both fatty acids are able to increase the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol. The HDL naturally helps to lower the low-density lipoprotein , the bad cholesterol, by gathering it up and transporting it back to the liver to be eliminated from the blood. Another benefit of oleic acid is that it is able to lower triglyceride levels, which then lowers the LDL and total cholesterol levels. The total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol that is present in the body.
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Your Blood Pressure Might Go Down
More than 100 million adults in Americaor nearly half the adult populationhave high blood pressure. According to a 2019 study in Current Developments in Nutrition, however, eating cashews is linked to lower blood pressure. Cashew consumption was also linked to lower levels of triglyceridesa type of fat in the blood that can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease when levels are high.
Keep in mind, though, that not all cashews are created equal in this regard. Many packaged cashews come salted, and foods with excess salt have been linked to high blood pressure.
Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol bundled in transporters called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein is viewed as an undesirable type of cholesterol. Since it goes around storing cholesterol in your organs and tissues. You need to keep LDL values below 100mg/deciliter.
High-density lipoprotein is considered as good cholesterol. It helps to clear up fat and takes it to your liver for further processing. You need to keep HDL values over 60mg/deciliter.
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Cashew Nuts Ensure A Healthy Cardiovascular System
The healthy fatty acids contained in cashew nuts have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Thus, the unsaturated fatty acids for example help to lower the cholesterol level as well as to decrease the blood pressure. Both prevent heart diseases therefore cashew nuts or nuts in general should not be missing in any diet.
The high magnesium content can also have a positive effect on heart function. This important mineral indirectly promotes the elasticity of blood vessel walls by stimulating the build-up of elastin. Elastin is one of the most important structural proteins in the body and is responsible for the important elasticity of the blood vessels. Magnesium can also help lower blood pressure and inhibit the formation of blood clots.
Would Cashew Nuts Able To Control Cholesterol
Many Americans suffer from high cholesterol. High cholesterol leads them to danger of atherosclerosis, stroke, or heart attack. The main reason behind high cholesterol is because of the wrong diet. Some of the time high cholesterol problems are hereditary or called familial hypercholesterolemia.
Just 1 out of 500 people is a victim of familial hypercholesterolemia. The main reason behind high cholesterol is a wrong diet. According to nutritionists, dietary modifications could be helpful to control cholesterol. Controlled cholesterol means less cardiovascular problems.
If you can make changes in your daily routine and eating habits, you can control cholesterol and lower the risk of cardiovascular illness. I generally recommend starting with the addition of nuts including cashew nuts.
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What Nuts Are High In Omega
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that have the responsibility to protect and enhance important body functions.
Studies have shown that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease heart disease incidence and prevent conditions such as eczema, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
The three most common and important types of Omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid
- Docosahexaenoic acid
- Eicosapentaenoic acid
While the first type of Omega-3 can be easily found in plants, the other two are mainly present in animal products, fish, and algae.
However, you can get Omega-3 from flaxseed powder and vegan Omega-3 supplements.
One of the main characteristics of Omega-3 to remember is that our bodies do not naturally produce them.
Therefore, they must be consumed from the foods in your diet.
Nuts should be an essential component of a healthy diet, mainly because they are naturally rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Some of the best nuts that have plenty of Omega-3 includes:
Your Heart Health Will Get An Overall Boost
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.above stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s combined. Fortunately, a 2007 review published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the risk of heart disease was 37% lower for those who eat nuts more than four times a week.
You may have already known that nuts can benefit your ticker, but cashews, specifically, may hold an advantage here. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that when people with type 2 diabetes ate 30 grams of raw, unsalted cashew nuts daily for 12 weeks, they experienced a decrease in cardiovascular risk factors: their blood pressure went down, and their HDL cholesterol went up.
The likely reason why cashews are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease is that they’re a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
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Interesting Cashew Tree Facts:
Facts About the Cashew Tree:
The cashew tree is a tropical evergreen plant that can grow to a height of 20 to 46 feet.
The cashew tree has spirally arranged green, elliptical, leathery leaves on its branches.
The flowers of the cashew tree are arranged in panicles, which are multi-branched inflorescences. There are three types of flowers produced by the tree: male, female, and mixed . The flowers are initially green, but after a while, they turn red. The flowers primary pollinators are bees and insects
The cashew apple, as well as the cashew fruit, are both edible. They are primarily consumed in South America, where they are consumed raw or as a savoury drink.
Because the shell of cashew contains a compound that irritates the skin , it is commercially available without the shell.
Anacardic acid, extracted from cashew shells, is used in the chemical industry to make insecticides and varnishes.
Cashews are high in B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. They also have high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for your health.
Cashews are commonly consumed raw as a snack or in the form of butter. Furthermore, cashews are used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes in Indian, Chinese, and Thai cuisines.
They easily go rancid at room temperature due to their high-fat content. As a result, they should be kept in the refrigerator.
In some parts of the world, cashew is used to treat snakebites.
Nuts Are Heart Healthy But In Moderation
Of course, like most foods, balance is key, meaning while eating nuts is good for your health, you do not want to overdo it. With that, according to the American Heart Association, if you are following a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, you should consume 4 to 5 servings a week of nuts, seeds, or legumes. A serving size is equivalent to a small handful or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.
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Cashew Nuts Support Muscle Building
Cashews contain 18 grams of protein per 100 grams and are therefore an indispensable source of vegan protein. The amino acids contained in them not only help to build and maintain muscles, but also fulfil other vital tasks. For example, they are essential building blocks for building and renewing cells and tissue.
Cashews: A Better Choice Than Low
If you’re craving a crunchy snack, a handful of cashews is a heart-healthy choice, a small study suggests.
Although they’re a popular pick in nut mixes, cashews have a bit of a bad rap. Because cashews contain about 20% saturated fat, the FDA omitted them from the qualified health claim suggesting that nuts may lower heart disease risk when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
But most of the saturated fat in cashews is from stearic acid, a fatty acid thought to have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. And when 51 volunteers added 1 to 2 ounces of cashews to their daily diets for four weeks, their harmful LDL cholesterol levels dropped by about 5%, compared with when they ate a control diet.
The control diet included baked potato chips instead of cashews. The exact amounts of both snacks were adjusted to provide about 11% of each person’s total calorie intake. An ounce of cashews provides 163 calories. The study findings were published online March 29, 2017, by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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One Major Effect Cashews Have On Your Heart Studies Say
Do you include cashews in your bag of trail mix? If not, maybe this piece of information will make you consider otherwise when you go to make your next batchcashews may help to improve your heart health.
That’s right, several studies have suggested that regularly eating cashews could result in a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In general, incorporating more nuts into your diet could provide heart health benefits. Research has shown that eating just two ounces of nuts daily can lower levels of the harmful type of cholesterol by as much as 5%.
However, some studies have linked eating a few individual nuts to lower blood cholesterol levels. For example, one 2019 study found that those with type 2 diabetes who devoted 10% of their daily calories to cashews had a lower ratio of LDL to HDL levels than those who didn’t enjoy any cashews.
The results from one 2017 study demonstrated that eating cashews boosts HDL cholesterol levels while lowering total cholesterol and LDL levels. Another study from 2018 even linked cashew consumption with lower blood pressure levels.
Keep in mind there are a limited number of studies that explore cashew intake and heart health, which, in part, may explain the conflicting results. In fact, it may be best to eat a variety of nuts to reap heart health benefits.
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