The Health Benefits of Cashews

Today I wanted to share with you the health benefits of cashews, which are another favorite nut of mine along with almonds.

Cashew fruit

Picture found online, not my original photo. Looks just like an apple, but with an upside down cashew nut stem 🙂

Now for some interesting facts that I didn’t know.  Did you?  The cashew tree is native to Brazil, where its fruit is considered a delicacy.  Yes I said fruit.  The cashew tree produces a fruit known as the cashew apple.  What we know as the cashew nut is actually the seed from this fruit.  I found a picture of the fruit with the cashew nut inside a shell attached to the bottom of the fruit.

They say you learn something new everyday: right?  After reading this I now want to try a cashew apple.  I’m so curious now about what it taste like.  I’ll have to keep a lookout for some, although I am in Arkansas so it could be a challenge.

So now back to the cashew nut, which has many health benefits that I’d like to share with you today.  Thanks goes to the website Health Diaries for the information below.  As always it is much appreciated.

Now the health benefits of cashews:

1.  Cashews are ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing.  Studies have also shown that cashews can reduce your risk of colon cancer.

2.  Cashews also have a high copper content, which help to eliminate free radicals. Copper found is cashews is also vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elsatin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints.  Cashews are also a good source of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect us from heart disease and cancer.

3.  Cashews are wonderfully cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases.

4.  The magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.  It’s a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is as well.  Most of the magnesium in the body is in our bones.  Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use at it needs it.  Insufficient magnesium leads to higher blood pressure, muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness and fatigue. IMG_20140330_131648_090 Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

5.  Data collected on 80,718 women from the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrates that women who eat at least an ounce of nuts each week, such as cashews, have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.

6.  People who eat nuts twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who rarely eat nuts.  Cashew nuts are indeed relatively high in fat, but it is considered “good fat.”  This is attributable to the ideal fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively, which is recommended by scientists for tip-top health.  Cashew nuts contain less fat than most other popular nuts, including peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts.  They are dense in energy and high in dietary fiber, making them a very valuable snack for managing weight gain.

As you can see cashews are one healthy nut.  I would encourage you to pick up some cashews the next time you are at the grocery store and eat a serving a couple times a week.  Here’s to your health.

Check out these recipes containing cashews:

Chicken with Cashews

Mango Cashew Salad

Ginger Cashew Chicken

Karli’s Ultimate Trail Mix

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