Are Cashews Good for You?
Cashews are rich in nutrients and may offer several health benefits. Selecting the right varieties and cooking or preparing them properly can help maximize their potential effects on health.
What are cashew nuts?
Cashew nuts are the fruit of the cashew tree, an exotic tree which now inhabits many areas of the world. The official origin of the cashew nut is thought to be Brazil, but there are also mentions in Indian and South East Asian history which states that the tree was able to grow and thrive in their tropical climates.
Are cashew nuts toxic?
Cashew nuts themselves aren’t toxic, but the kidney-shaped shell surrounds it consists of a toxic oil called urushiol. Urushiol in cashew nuts may cause contact dermatitis, this means that coming into contact urushiol can cause itching of the skin, blisters, and skin rashes. The toxins which are created by urushiol can be eliminated through roasting.
Why are cashews so popular?
Cashew nuts are America and Europe’s favourite nut. Nuts are a popular snack, and cashew nuts are often sold salted, in a portion-sized bag; perfect for snacking on the go. Cashew nuts are an essential feature of many world cuisines, including Thai food, and that has likely increased their overall popularity.
Are cashew nuts good for you?
Yes, absolutely. Cashews contribute to a great level of protein and are a good source of minerals such as iron and zinc, which makes them an excellent addition to your vegetarian or vegan diet. Cashews are also rich in magnesium, a mineral which is thought to improve recall and delay, age-related memory loss.
Health benefits of cashews
Cashews are linked to a wide variety of health benefits, including:
- May improve heart health
- May lower cholesterol
- May lower blood sugar
- Contains antioxidants
- May help you lose weight
- Easy addition to the diet
Nutritional values of cashews
An average, 40g portion of cashews contains 98% of your daily copper, 34% of your daily phosphorus, 29% of your daily manganese, and 28% of your daily magnesium. Cashews are packed full of protein, containing 15.7g of protein per 100g.
Disadvantages of cashews
Cashew nuts contain phytates, an antinutrient which can negatively impact how your body absorbs the nutritional content of cashews. In rare cases, when eaten to excess cashew nuts can cause bloating, constipation, weight gain, and joint swelling.