Are Cashews Good For You? Nutrition, Benefits, And Downsides

Cashew nuts are one of the more expensive types of nuts you can purchase. This exclusivity doesn’t mean they’re the highest quality nuts, though. 

As long as you eat less than 18 cashew nuts a day, you’ll strengthen your heart, blood, eyes, skin, and bones and reduce weight because they are full of nutrition. However, eating more than the recommended amount will lead to long term health problems. 

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of consuming a small amount of cashew nuts and the downsides of eating too many of them in great detail. Read on. 

Nutrients In Cashew Nuts

Cashews are rich in nutrition and are widely consumed for many health benefits. They are rich in fiber, contain healthy fats, plant protein, and are low in sugar content. 

They are a good source of nutrition for a healthy brain and bones due to multivitamins, Copper, magnesium, and manganese. As per the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) database entry, 100 grams(3.5 ounces) of cashews contains:-

Energy 553 kcal
Carbohydrates30.19 grams
Fat43.85 grams
Protein18.22 grams
Water5.21 grams
VitaminsPercentage of daily req.Mass
Vitamin A0IU
B1: Thiamine37%0.423 mg
B2: Riboflavin5%0.058 mg
B3: Niacin7%1.062 mg
B5: Pantothenic acid17%0.86 mg
Vitamin B632%0.417 mg
Folate (B9)6%25 μg
Vitamin B120%0 μg
Vitamin C1%0.5 mg
Vitamin D0%0 μg
Vitamin E6%0.90 m
Vitamin K34.1 μg
MineralsPercentage of daily req. Mass
Calcium4%37 mg
Magnesium79%1.66 mg
Copper110%2.2 mg
Iron51%6.68 mg
Manganese82%292 mg
Phosphorus85%593 mg
Selenium28%19.9 μg
Sodium1%12 mg
Potassium14%660 mg
Zinc61%5.78 mg

Are Cashews Healthy?

A handful of cashews in your daily diet can be healthy to consume. A high proportion of plant-based proteins can have many health benefits and can reduce the risk of a lot of lifestyle-associated health conditions:-

1. Healthy Heart

Cashews have several health benefits and help check various lifestyle-related health problems such as heart diseases. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that eating 1.5 oz of nuts per day can reduce the risk of heart diseases. 

Various studies have also shown that cashews intake lowers cholesterol and LDL. It increases the cholesterol carrying capacity of HDL, which is responsible for moving cholesterol from the heart to the liver. Since they are heavy in calories, only a fistful of nuts is recommended to be consumed to lower the risks of death due to heart disease. 

2. Blood Health 

Since cashew nuts are a good source of Copper and are recommended to be added to our daily diet to help avoid a lot of blood-related diseases. Copper is responsible for the elimination of free radicals from the human body, and its deficiency is believed to cause anemia. 

3. Healthy Eyes 

Cashews have antioxidant properties due to the presence of “ZeaXanthin.” Our retina absorbs this pigment in the eyes to form a protective layer over it. This layer of extra protection helps our eyes to protect themselves from UV Rays and other hazards.  

4. Glowing Skin

Not only cashew nuts but the oil extracted from them does wonders for the Skin. Cashew oil has Zinc, magnesium, and selenium, which are good for skin health and prevent cancer. 

5. Weight Management

Although nuts are considered high in fiber and calories, consuming them in limited quantities helps weight management. They are rich in fiber and protein, which helps in reducing hunger and makes you feel fuller. 

They are a healthy alternative to midnight snacks and kill that craving for unhealthy food at night. They are also responsible for increasing the body’s metabolism and are very easy to make part of one’s diet.

6. Strong Bones 

The magnesium in cashews plays a vital role in bone formation and also aids in soaking up calcium in bones. Moreover, Copper is also an essential building block for all structural components of the human body. Copper deficiency is linked with lower bone density and causes bones to become brittle and weak. Cashews are a good source of Copper and magnesium. 

Downsides of Cashews 

Cashews are weighed safe to be consumed in moderate quantities as they contain unsaturated fats. But with all the benefits, they do come with a few downsides:-

1. High in Calories

Maximum benefits can be achieved by eating unroasted, unsalted raw cashews as they are low in calories.

Fats are the most glaring nutrient of nuts and are considered concentrated source calories which can result in weight gains.

2. Low in Antioxidants Properties

Roasted cashews taste better and have high levels of calories due to added salt and oils. Unroasted cashews contain lower levels of health-enriching antioxidants.

Finding a balance is the key to getting the maximum health benefits from these nuts. Roasting unroasted cashews at home without extra oil or baking them is a good option.

3. Presence of Phytic Acid

Nuts from plant seeds contain phytic acid, also known as an anti-nutrient. This acid makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamins and minerals. The presence of phytates in cashews impairs the absorption of nutrients in the body, and soaking them overnight before consuming them helps reduce phytate content, thus improving digestibility..

4. Tree Nut Allergies

People who have tree nut allergies should avoid cashews as they may also contain allergens that might lead to reactions.  

5. Raw is Toxic 

Raw cashews typically aren’t available in the market. Instead, they are sold after necessary heat treatment. This is because their natural form contains poison ivy, which can cause allergic reactions. 

Cashews available in the market are labor-intensive, making them an expensive, highly-priced commodity. 

Final Thoughts: Are Cashew Nuts Good For You

The crispy and nutty flavor of cashews with multiple health benefits can be appetizing, and many of us end up eating a lot of them in one go. Although they are tempting, try to consume no more than one ounce (28.35 grams) of medium cashew. Generally, a perfect serving of cashews contains around 18 nuts. It is also essential to know the downsides before consuming them. 

Brett White
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