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Keto Alert: 10 Health Benefits Of Cashews

Anacardium, Cashew, Cashew Nuts

Cashews possess a savory flavor, are extremely versatile and highly beneficial to one’s health, making them one of the greatest nuts.

Cashews provide a host of health benefits, such as promoting good cardiovascular health, aiding cognitive functioning, and aiding with digestion and nutrient uptake. You might be able to shed some pounds by consuming cashews.

In more recent times, most countries in the West have seen a rise in cashew nut consumption, probably due to the fact that nuts have been regarded as among the healthiest foods on the market.

Experts believe that incorporating all kinds of nuts into our diets is key for ensuring that we gain important healthy fats, fiber, and trace minerals. Additionally, it may be beneficial in preventing long-term illnesses.

The versatility of cashews makes them a great addition to any meal, whether it’s a sweet snack like trail mix or a savory stir-fry. Adding cashews to other nutritious nuts such as almonds or walnuts is an easy way to enjoy a variety of flavors.

Due to items such as cashew milk and cashew butter being available, including the dietary benefits of cashews in food items is more effortless than ever before.

Cashews Nutrition Facts

What are cashews, and are they actually nuts? Cashews are technically seeds, as opposed to nuts. The Anacardium occidentale tree is responsible for these items that are light in hue and take the form of a kidney: the bitter-tasting cashew apple.

Cashew nuts and other types of nuts are often suggested to improve heart health due to their abundance of nutrients and minerals.

Cashews are full of health-promoting unsaturated fats, as well as plant-based protein, dietary fiber, minerals like copper, zinc, and magnesium, and antioxidants like phytosterols and phenolic compounds.

Cashew kernels are a filling and nutritious food option, as they contain 21% protein, 46% fat and 25% carbohydrates – some of which is indigestible fiber.

An important part of cashews’ nutrition is their beneficial fat content. Cashews contain mainly unsaturated fats composed of monounsaturated fatty acids with oleic acid as the main component, with a smaller quantity of polyunsaturated fatty acids, most of which is comprised of linoleic acid.

Around sixty-two percent of the oil from a cashew consists of mono-unsaturated fat while 18 percent is made up of poly-unsaturated fat with the rest being a mixture of saturated fats.

Research has revealed that consuming cashews (and other nuts) can be beneficial as it has positive effects on metabolism and other systems in the body. This has prompted many studies to propose that eating cashew nuts could be linked to lower risk of diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

1. Copper

People may overlook the importance of copper due to the fact that it is only a trace mineral which only requires a minimal amount. It is thus easy to become deficient in copper, which can result in afflictions like osteoporosis and anemia.

Copper plays critical roles in your body, such as:

  • Creating new red blood cells.
  • Keeping your blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones functioning properly.
  • Optimizing iron absorption.

Cashews provide a whopping 31% of the RDV of copper, making them an outstanding source of this essential mineral.

2. Manganese

Manganese plays a vital role in varied bodily functions. Emerging research shows manganese may be able to help:

  • Overweight people achieve weight loss.
  • Ease premenstrual (PMS) symptoms including pain, anxiety, mood swings, tension, irritability, and depression.
  • Reduce bone loss in those with osteoporosis.
  • Alleviate pain in people with osteoarthritis.
  • Improve wound healing.

In one ounce of uncooked cashew nuts, you will get 23% of the Dietary Reference Value (DRV) of manganese.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is required for more than 300 biochemical processes in the body.

This important electrolyte is involved in:

  • Helping your heart keep a steady rhythm.
  • Regulating blood sugar levels.
  • Keeping your bones strong.
  • Maintaining proper muscle and nerve function.
  • Giving your immune system a boost.
  • Processing protein and energy molecules.

It looks like magnesium could be used to fight off and address type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

Rather than taking supplemental magnesium, which can cause digestive issues, it is better to obtain magnesium from a natural source like cashews or avocados, each providing 20% and 11% of your recommended daily value in one serving.

4. Vitamin K 

There can be severe health effects from not having enough vitamin K. Without it, your red blood cells won’t be able to form clots, which implies that any cuts or deep wounds may cause excessive bleeding and may even be fatal.

In addition, this crucial vitamin also generates proteins that strengthen your tissues and bones.

A single serving of cashew nuts contains 12% of the recommended daily value.

5. Vitamin E

This vitamin acts as a guardian, shielding your cells from free radicals, elements in your environment that can cause harm, and toxins that can potentially cause changes in your cells that could result in cancer.

Vitamin E is essential for the optimal functioning of your cardiovascular system, making sure your blood vessels remain open to avoid any dangerous blood clots.

Health Benefits

1. Fight Heart Disease

A 2017 review in Nutrients mentions that nuts, while dense in calories, have exhibited positive outcomes in several studies due to the high levels of fatty acids, plant proteins, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and Phytosterols which may have antioxidant powers.

Eating nuts and legumes on a regular basis can reduce the potential of developing some of the most dangerous cardiovascular health problems, including high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity.

It is thought that consuming cashews can reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and help to keep the heart and its vessels healthy.

Cashews can assist in reducing LDL cholesterol (the type deemed hazardous) and enhancing HDL cholesterol (the “healthy” kind). Their composition includes phytosterols, which are necessary for the construction of cellular membranes.

They stabilize cells and interfere with cholesterol absorption. The reason cashews could be beneficial in averting the development of blockages within the walls of the arteries is due to the fact that they possess cholesterol-lowering qualities.

Cashews have connections to a decline in triglyceride amounts and a decrease in inflammation, which are advantageous to avoiding heart issues, heart attacks, and strokes.

2. Help Prevent Gallstones

Studies have suggested that consuming cashews and other varieties of nuts on a regular basis may reduce the risk of developing gallstones. Gallstones are associated with healthy cholesterol levels.

They’re triggered by tough cholesterol, which is a product of having an excessive amount of cholesterol in the bile going through the gastrointestinal system.

Typically, your liver does not generate enough cholesterol to cause it to solidify and create stones. However, when the liver is not functioning properly, cholesterol acts like a kind of adhesive, making it stick with other substances such as calcium found inside the gallbladder.

3. Can Help with Weight Loss or Maintenance

Do cashew nuts make you gain weight? Investigations appear to show that cashews and other types of nuts are not related to increasing body weight. It is possible that they may even spur on weight reduction or aid in weight regulation.

Nuts are full of fat — with cashews consisting of around 46% fat — but they have nutritional value, supplying vital minerals and fatty acids which help with losing weight.

Consuming cashews nutritionaly aids in limiting one’s hunger post-dinner, reducing the potential of wanting to snack on unhealthy foods or overindulging. Fats tend to make meals more enjoyable and help to make sure the body gets the most out of fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D.

Cashews contain a substantial amount of plant-based protein, with about 25% of the nut composed of amino acids, a few of which is made up of the advantageous amino acid L-arginine.

L-arginine is an amino acid which is known to be a forerunner of nitric oxide and is said to help enhance the capacity of veins to respond and promote blood circulation. Cashews are an influential snack because of the presence of both fat and protein within its nutrients, promoting feelings of fullness and reducing unhealthy cravings.

4. Help Maintain Bone Health

Cashews have the potential to enhance bone health due to the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium contained within them, as well as their low sodium content.

These are associated with protection against bone demineralization. The ability of cashews to form bones is also due to their richness in vitamin K.

One ounce of cashews can provide more than 12 percent of the necessary vitamin K for a person’s daily needs, helping to ward off vitamin K deficiency.

Vitamin K functions with minerals such as calcium to aid in the process of bone mineralization and keeps bone mineral density steady. This can guard you from bone breakages and the condition of porous bones.

5. Help Decrease LDL Cholesterol 

A research team of 51 people discovered that eating 1-2 ounces of cashew nuts weekly for four weeks helped lower their LDL cholesterol readings.

LDL cholesterol is a type of cholesterol that can be fatal, as it allows plaques to accumulate in the blood vessel walls, constricting the flow of blood and potentially resulting in hypertension. Eating cashews can be a natural approach to bolstering heart health and reducing the chance of developing cardiovascular illnesses.

6. May Reduce Inflammation and Deadly Biomarkers

Several studies on nuts, such as cashews, have found that people who frequently eat these high-fat snacks have:

  • Lower inflammation markers, such as C-Reactive Protein.
  • Decreased risks for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular death.

Cashew nuts can be a potent source of anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fatty acids, various vitamins and minerals, and dietary fiber.

7. May Improve Blood Sugar

The investigation done by a group of authorities regarding nine studies regarding tree nuts (for example, Brazil nuts, cashews, and macadamias) established that consuming nuts as part of your eating routine can help boost your blood sugar levels.

The investigations uncovered that after consuming, the ascent in insulin levels after a dinner, otherwise called the postprandial glycemic response, were additionally decreased subsequent to having nuts. Incorporating an adequate portion of nuts on a daily basis could help you keep your blood sugar levels balanced without medication.

8. Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, incorporating nuts into your diet through meals and snacks could potentially drop both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Researchers found that nuts provide a safeguard that guards your endothelial function (the layer of cells coating the interior of your blood vessels) from developing excess plaque. It is thought that their elevated amounts of antioxidants and beneficial fats are responsible for this.

9. May Help Prevent Colon, Prostate and Liver Cancers

What are the benefits of consuming cashews if one is looking to increase their immunity and protect against illness? It has been found that eating nuts frequently, including cashews, can reduce the odds of developing certain common types of cancer.

Particularly, cancers of the digestive system, such as those of the liver and colon, are especially relevant. A study conducted in 2016 discovered that eating more nuts is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and death from any cause.

Antioxidant vitamins can be found in nuts, mainly in the form of tocopherols and various phenolic compounds which are mostly contained in the shells of cashews and other nuts.

These are essential to shield the body from extreme measures of free radical harm that can lead to oxidative pressure, potentially adding to genetic material harm, unnatural cell development and malignant growth shape.

10. Support Healthy Brain Function

Most of the composition of the brain is fat and it is essential for it to have adequate amounts of healthful fatty acids in its sustenance. Nuts are among the most fat-dense natural plant-based foods. They support cognitive function, healthy aging and mood regulation.

Cashews contain various dietary features that can help maintain mental abilities and various neural processes by controlling neurotransmitter pathways, shoving information between cells and maintaining the suppleness of cell membranes.

The beneficial fats present in cashews are credited with this as well as minute amounts of zinc, iron and copper.

A shortage in MUFA and PUFA (good) fats in your diet has been linked to an increased risk of certain mental illnesses, such as ADD, anxiety, depression, dyslexia and dementia.

Cashews In Keto Diet

Having become informed of the fabulous health benefits of cashews, it’s likely that you’ll want to incorporate them into your keto trail mix or have them as an extra snack.

Nuts can be beneficial when you are trying to eat healthily, however, if you have too many, you can undo all your hard work. It’s important to be aware of how much cashews you are eating since they have more carbs than other types of nuts on the keto diet. Here are a few tips:

  • Start out with half or even a quarter of the 1 oz. serving size at first, and see how your body reacts.
  • Try crushing up your cashews for the illusion of getting more and sprinkle them on salads, stir-fries, and on homemade keto yogurt.
  • Remember to reach for unflavored, raw cashew nuts so you avoid any unnecessary preservatives, chemical flavors, added sugars, and unwanted hidden carbohydrates.
  • Add healthy macadamia-cashew butter to your pre- and post-workout keto smoothies for a creamy and filling snack or meal that won’t kick you out of ketosis.

Combining your cashews with others that are high in fat and restricted in carbohydrates such as macadamia could be an awesome way to get the various advantages while still limiting carbohydrates.

This mixture of macadamia nuts, cashews and coconut butter is the ideal choice for those following a ketogenic diet, as it is blended with MCT oil, providing additional benefits in terms of ketosis. You can get only 2 grams of net carbs for two tablespoons of these flavorful nuts.

Cashews and the Keto Diet

Cashews contain a bit more carbohydrates than some other types of nuts, yet provide beneficial levels of monounsaturated fats, copper, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin K, and vitamin E.

Cashews can make a great addition to a keto diet, but you should be mindful of how much you eat so as to not go overboard.

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