Did you know that cashews belong to the same family as pistachios and mangoes? Yes, and that family is called Anacardiaceae. Native to northeastern Brazil, today cashews can easily be grown in pretty much every place that has a tropical climate. But… That isn’t why you clicked on this article, did you? You were thinking, "How healthy cashews are or is everything a lie?”
Are Cashews Healthy?
Help in losing weight
Believe it or not, even though cashews are on the higher side when it comes to fat, you would be surprised to know that they actually contain good fat, as opposed to bad fat. Unlike bad fat which makes you gain weight, good fat can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease as well! Studies have also shown that people who eat cashews two times a week were less likely to gain weight as opposed to those who didn’t eat it.
Benefit your heart
As mentioned above, cashews contain good fat, which are actually good for your body. It turns out that it’s also excellent for your heart too! They can be used as a 100% natural substitute for saturated fats, which in turn would greatly help reduce any hypertension your body might be going through. Independent studies have also shown that eating a sizeable amount of cashews on a regular basis greatly reduces your chances of contracting cardiovascular diseases, a portion of which is attributed to arginine, which is known to protect the inner lining of your heart’s artery walls. So if you’re still wondering whether cashews are healthy or not, well honestly, you shouldn’t really be wondering anymore!
Improve nervous system
If your body contains an unusually large quantity of calcium, then it can lead to your nerve cells working overtime, leading to soreness, tension and over exhaustion. However, cashews contain high amounts of magnesium, which are utilized by the body to prevent calcium from making an entry into the blood stream.
Help chemotherapy patients
Cashews contain antioxidants like cardols, cardanols and anacardic acids, which have shown to aid cancer and tumor patients in their treatments. In fact, patients are often advised by doctors to eat small quantities of cashews for this very purpose.
Form red blood cell
Are cashews healthy? Well, picture this: Copper is a very useful metal for the body, because not only does it aid in improving your metabolic functions, but also keeps your bones strong and increases production of red blood cells. For those who didn’t know, the main job of RBCs is to deliver oxygen to your tissues through the blood stream. And guess what, cashews have a lot of copper in them!
Support bones, teeth and gums
I already mentioned it above, but I’ll do so again – cashews are great for your bones! For those who didn’t know, phosphorous is an important nutrient when it comes to the healthy growth of your bones and teeth. And since cashews are a good source of phosphorous, don’t stop yourself from indulging in a handful of cashews every single day!
Give you an instant vitamin rush
A powerhouse of vitamins, cashews are a must have for those suffering from any sort of vitamin deficiency. Among the long list of vitamins it has, include names like vitamins C, E and B, along with minerals like riboflavin, thiamin and pantothenic acid. These have shown to not only boost your immune system, but even help prevent you from contracting fatal diseases.
Now, there’s not a lot of medical evidence to back this up, but what’s the harm in trying? Cashews have said to be used as mild anti-depressants thanks to L-tryptophan, an amino acid which is broken by the body into serotonin and niacin, both of which have proved to bring about a state of calmness that instantly makes you feel less anxious.
Things to Keep in Mind
Though not conclusive, certain studies have suggested that eating big amounts of cashews can lead to increased blood sugar levels. So if you’re a diabetic or someone whose sugar levels are on the higher side, eat small amounts of cashews.
When it comes to surgery
As cashews may affect your sugar levels, chances are the surgery may interfere with your sugar levels, making them completely out of your control. This is why it’s best to not eat them at least 15 days before your surgery.
For pregnant/breastfeeding women
The science is still out on how good cashews really are for unborn babies or those drinking their mothers' milk. But it helps. Just eat little to no cashew to be on the safer side.
If there is nut allergy
It goes without saying that if you have a nut allergy, no matter how mild, you have to stay away from cashews.
It elevates your blood pressure
Cashews are available in salted forms, and while they are delicious to munch on, an excess of sodium in your body can immediately raise your blood pressure. So even though you get a yes from the question, "Are cashews healthy?" you should still mind when and how many you eat them.