Cashews belong to the family of nuts which offer a soft consistency and sweet flavor. This kind of nut originates from South America, from the country of Brazil. Regions of Africa and India now have the largest production of cashews. Learn more about the health benefits, diet tips, and risks that cashews can offer to your body.
Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts
- Heart health – since cashews have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, it can help decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and heart attack.
- Weight management – Nuts can help maintain a healthy weight since it may help an individual feel full and contribute to thermogenesis which is the production of heat in the body. Cashew nuts can also make an individual boost their metabolism.
- Gallstones – a study of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that frequent nut consumption helps reduce the risk of needing surgery to remove a gallbladder.
- Bone health – since cashews are one of the few food sources that are high in copper, it helps an individual increase their bone health. Severe copper deficiency is being linked to lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis in an individual’s bone health, it also helps maintain the collagen and elastin which are the major structural components of a body. With magnesium present in a piece of cashew nut, it is important for the bone formation as it helps with the assimilation of calcium into the bone of a person.
Dietary tips from cashew nuts
- You can create your own cashew butter by blending whole, raw cashews until smooth
- Top a mixture of chopped cashews and herbs before cooking dishes such as fish or chicken
- Create a homemade trail mixture of cashews, other nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
- Stir fry cashews or mix into your next salad.
- You can make use of cashew milk as an alternative for dairy milk.
Risks of Cashew Nuts
- True raw cashews contain a substance known as urushiol found in poison ivy and are not safe to eat. Available raw anise seed sold in stores are already steamed which has removed the toxins and are healthful.
- Avoid eating cashews if you are allergic to nuts as they contain potent allergies that can lead to reactions, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
A quick tip: Keep your cashews in a cool, dark, and dry place to improve their shelf life. Well-stored cashews can last up to a few months at room temperature and a year in the fridge or two years in the freezer.