Cashews are an excellent source of copper and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Meanwhile, Contrary to the popular belief that it can make you gain fat, a considerable amount of cashews in your diet can provide you with many health benefits which we are going to discuss about below
Health Benefits of Cashews
Cashews are a type of nut with a soft consistency and sweet flavor. They are native to South America, specifically Brazil, and were introduced by colonists to Africa and India. These regions are the largest producers of cashews today. Cashews are sold both raw or roasted, and salted or unsalted.
Cashews have recently been used to make dairy alternatives, such as cashew milk, cashew-based cheese and cashew-based cream sauces and sour cream.
It gives information on the nutritional value of cashews and their possible health benefits. You will also find some tips on how to include cashews in the diet and learn about any possible health risks.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 1 ounce of raw cashews (28.35 grams) contains:
- 157 calories
- 8.56 grams (g) of carbohydrate
- 1.68 g of sugar
- 0.9 g of fiber
- 5.17 g of protein
- 12.43 g of total fat
- 10 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 1.89 mg of iron
- 83 mg of magnesium
- 168 mg of phosphorus
- 187 mg of potassium
- 3 mg of sodium
- 1.64 mg of zinc
Cashews also contain vitamins C and B, including 7 micrograms (mcg) of DFE folate.
A 1-ounce serving of cashews is about 18 whole cashews. Cashews are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and a good source of protein.
Consuming a high proportion of plant-based foods appears to reduce the risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
1) Heart health
The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cashews can help decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that the risk of coronary heart disease may be 37 percent lower in people who consume nuts more than four times per week compared with people who never or seldom consume nuts.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved a health claim for food labels that “eating 1.5 oz per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Cashews are a good source of magnesium, which plays an important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body.
These include the metabolism of food and synthesis of fatty acids and proteins.
Magnesium is also involved in muscle relaxation and neuromuscular transmission and activity.
Magnesium deficiency, prevalent in older populations, is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.
Several studies have found that a high intake of calcium without sufficient magnesium could increase the risk of arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease, as well as kidney stones.
People with the highest intake of magnesium were found in the Framingham Heart Study to have a 58-percent lower chance of having coronary artery calcification and a 34-percent lower chance of abdominal artery calcification.
2) Weight management
Limited data suggest that routine nut consumption is associated with a higher expenditure of energy while resting. This could have implications for weight management.
In addition, in trials that compare weight loss between food regimens that include or exclude nuts, regimes that include nut consumption in moderation were linked to greater weight loss.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 found that women who reported rarely eating nuts had a greater incidence of weight gain over an 8-year period than women who consumed nuts two or more times a week.
The researchers concluded that eating nuts does not lead to a weight gain, and that it may help maintain a healthy weight.
A review of studies published in 2017 concluded that nuts can help maintain a healthy weight. They may do this by helping a person feel full and contributing to thermogenesis, which is the production of heat in the body. This can help boost the metabolism.
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, frequent nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of needing surgery to remove the gallbladder.
In over a million people documented over a time span of 20 years, women who consumed more than 5 ounces of nuts a week had a significantly lower risk of cholecystectomy than women who ate less than 1 ounce of nuts each week.
4) Bone health
Cashews are one of the few food sources that are high in copper. One ounce of cashews contains 622 micrograms of copper. For adults aged 19 years and over, the recommended intake for copper each day is 900 micrograms.
Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. More research is needed, however, on the effects of marginal copper deficiency and the potential benefits of copper supplementation for prevention and management of osteoporosis.
Copper also plays an important role in the maintenance of collagen and elastin, major structural components of our bodies. Without sufficient copper, the body cannot replace damaged connective tissue or the collagen that makes up the scaffolding for bone. This can lead to a range of problems, including joint dysfunction as bodily tissues begin to break down.
The magnesium in cashews is also important for bone formation as it helps with the assimilation of calcium into the bone. Manganese, another mineral in cashews, has been shown to prevent osteoporosis in combination with calcium and copper.
Introduction to Food Rating System Chart of Cashew
In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System.
This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications).
This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system.
For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.”
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
|Very good||DRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%
Read Also: How to Select, Store and Enjoy Cashew
In-Depth Nutritional Profile
In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, here is an in-depth nutritional profile for Cashews. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
(Note: “–” indicates data unavailable)
|BASIC MACRO-NUTRIENTS AND CALORIES|
|Fat – total||17.54 g||—|
|Dietary Fiber||1.32 g||5|
|MACRONUTRIENT AND CALORIE DETAIL|
|Total Sugars||2.36 g|
|Soluble Fiber||— g|
|Insoluble Fiber||— g|
|Other Carbohydrates||8.39 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||9.52 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||3.14 g|
|Saturated Fat||3.11 g|
|Trans Fat||0.00 g|
|Calories from Fat||157.86|
|Calories from Saturated Fat||28.02|
|Calories from Trans Fat||0.00|
|Vitamin B1||0.17 mg||14|
|Vitamin B2||0.02 mg||2|
|Vitamin B3||0.42 mg||3|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin Equivalents)||2.17 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.17 mg||10|
|Vitamin B12||0.00 mcg||0|
|Folate (DFE)||10.00 mcg|
|Folate (food)||10.00 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.35 mg||7|
|Vitamin C||0.20 mg||0|
|Vitamin A (Retinoids and Carotenoids)|
|Vitamin A International Units (IU)||0.00 IU|
|Vitamin A mcg Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)||0.00 mcg (RAE)||0|
|Vitamin A mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)||0.00 mcg (RE)|
|Retinol mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)||0.00 mcg (RE)|
|Carotenoid mcg Retinol Equivalents (RE)||0.00 mcg (RE)|
|Beta-Carotene Equivalents||0.00 mcg|
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin||8.80 mcg|
|Vitamin D International Units (IU)||0.00 IU||0|
|Vitamin D mcg||0.00 mcg|
|Vitamin E mg Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents (ATE)||0.36 mg (ATE)||2|
|Vitamin E International Units (IU)||0.54 IU|
|Vitamin E mg||0.36 mg|
|Vitamin K||13.64 mcg||15|
|INDIVIDUAL FATTY ACIDS|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||0.02 g||1|
|Omega-6 Fatty Acids||3.11 g|
|14:1 Myristoleic||0.00 g|
|15:1 Pentadecenoic||0.00 g|
|16:1 Palmitol||0.05 g|
|17:1 Heptadecenoic||0.00 g|
|18:1 Oleic||9.41 g|
|20:1 Eicosenoic||0.06 g|
|22:1 Erucic||0.00 g|
|24:1 Nervonic||0.00 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids|
|18:2 Linoleic||3.11 g|
|18:2 Conjugated Linoleic (CLA)||— g|
|18:3 Linolenic||0.02 g|
|18:4 Stearidonic||— g|
|20:3 Eicosatrienoic||— g|
|20:4 Arachidonic||— g|
|20:5 Eicosapentaenoic (EPA)||— g|
|22:5 Docosapentaenoic (DPA)||— g|
|22:6 Docosahexaenoic (DHA)||— g|
|Saturated Fatty Acids|
|4:0 Butyric||0.00 g|
|6:0 Caproic||0.00 g|
|8:0 Caprylic||0.01 g|
|10:0 Capric||0.01 g|
|12:0 Lauric||0.01 g|
|14:0 Myristic||0.01 g|
|15:0 Pentadecanoic||0.00 g|
|16:0 Palmitic||1.57 g|
|17:0 Margaric||0.02 g|
|18:0 Stearic||1.29 g|
|20:0 Arachidic||0.11 g|
|22:0 Behenate||0.07 g|
|24:0 Lignoceric||0.04 g|
|INDIVIDUAL AMINO ACIDS|
|Aspartic Acid||0.65 g|
|Glutamic Acid||1.64 g|
|Organic Acids (Total)||— g|
|Acetic Acid||— g|
|Citric Acid||— g|
|Lactic Acid||— g|
|Malic Acid||— g|
|Sugar Alcohols (Total)||— g|
|Artificial Sweeteners (Total)||— mg|
The nutrient profiles provided in this website are derived from The Food Processor, Version 10.12.0, ESHA Research, Salem, Oregon, USA. Among the 50,000+ food items in the master database and 163 nutritional components per item, specific nutrient values were frequently missing from any particular food item. We chose the designation “–” to represent those nutrients for which no value was included in this version of the database.
Cashews contain fat, but these are mostly unsaturated fats, which are healthful in moderate quantities.
Truly raw cashews are not safe to eat, as they contain a substance known as urushiol, found in poison ivy. Urushiol is toxic, and contact with it can trigger a skin reaction in some people.
Cashew kernels are often sold as “raw” in stores, but these have been steamed. This removes the toxins. These cashews are healthful.
Depending on the brand, salted and roasted cashews can contain high levels of salt and fat, which may not be healthful. It is best to check the label first and consume these nuts in small quantities.
People who have a nut allergy should avoid cashews, as they contain potent allergens that can lead to reactions, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
Overall, it is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
Here are more cashew farming books and related resources to guide and assist you further: