Cashew comes from a tropical tree that is native from Brazil, but it is now cultivated in different parts of the world especially in countries with a warmer climate. Another name for cashew is tree nuts and it is the seeds from the tree. Surprisingly, it is loaded with health benefits of cashew nuts from plant compounds, nutrients, and antioxidants. Today, it is used for baking purposes to give a nutty flavor to baked bread and pastries. Just like any other type of nuts, it can offer a lot of nutritional benefits that are related to weight loss, heart health, and blood sugar management. This article will tell you what makes cashew good for you.
1. Nutrient Dense
If you love nut then you will surely get cashew benefits from its wide range of nutrients. One ounce of unroasted and unsalted cashew can offer 157 grams of calories, 5 gm of protein, and 12 gm of fat. It is packed with other important nutrients like copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, selenium, vitamin K, and vitamin B6. The unsaturated fats in cashew nuts are good for the heart. If you are vegan or vegetarian, eating cashew nut will help you get your needed protein requirements that are almost the same as meat. Aside from that, it is a good source of copper that is responsible for brain development and added energy.
2. Best Source of Plant Compounds
Seeds and nuts are a rich source of plant compounds, and cashew nutrition is no exception. Antioxidants are made of plant compounds that the body needs to stay healthy and strong through its neutralizing effect to free radicals. By neutralizing free radicals, the body is free from chronic inflammation that can lead to serious health ailments. Beneficial plant compounds in cashew are carotenoids and polyphenols that can decrease oxidative cell damage. However, studies are limited and need more data to support the claims.
3. Weight Management
In the past, people who are on a strict diet are advised to stay away from nuts as it is rich in fat and calories. However, new findings show that nuts like cashew can aid in weight loss management. Although cashew is high in calories, a recent study shows that the human body only has the ability to absorb 84 percent of calories that comes from cashew. The main reason is the fact that most of its fat is trapped inside the fibrous wall of the nut that makes it harder to absorb during digestion.
Health benefits of cashew nuts also lie in its protein and fiber content that is known to reduce hunger and makes one feel full for a longer time.
4. Helps in Heart Health
Some studies focus solely on cashew benefits to health. One study in people with type 2 diabetes who are consuming 10 percent of daily calorie needs from cashew shows a decrease in LDL bad cholesterol and an increase in HDL good cholesterol compared to a group that does not consume cashew at all. However, some studies show conflicting results so further research with a larger population is needed to conclude the real benefits of cashew to heart health.
5. Aids in Type 2 Diabetes
Some studies link cashew nutrition to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Its fiber content might be the reason because fiber is known to slow down the spike of blood sugar levels. However, there is a very limited study to prove the relation of eating cashew in lowering blood sugar. There is one study in participants with type 2 diabetes who consumed 10 percent of their daily calories need from cashew nuts shows a decline in insulin level which is an important marker of sugar control in the blood in comparison to those who do not consume at all.
6. Skin health
Oil from cashew seeds can do great wonders to your skin as it is very rich in selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron that are beneficial to overall skin health. Also, its phytochemical compounds can fight free radicals to prevent premature aging that makes cashew good for you.