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Health Benefits of Cashew Nut

Cashews are delicious tasting nuts that are easily available the world over. It is native to South America and is actually the seed of a fruit called cashew apple. It makes a great snack and is also used to add flavor to various salads. It is an ingredient in Asian cuisine such as Indian and Thai food. In addition, a lot of us may have had cashews covered in chocolate, a yummy variant of the different types of chocolates with nuts.

Public opinion about various kinds of nuts has evolved over the years.

They are no longer considered fatty snacks that need to be avoided. Today, research is throwing light on concrete health benefits if consumed in appropriate quantities. Cashew nuts are shaped like kidney beans and offer a variety of advantages to the human body. Let us take a look at a few of them:

  • Cashew nuts are a fantastic source of energy. These are just right to snack on in the middle of an exhausting workday.
  • They contain a significant amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to prevent aging and tissue damage. In addition, it is used to alleviate symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes. 
  • Cashew nut health benefits include the presence of monounsaturated fats that are good for the heart.  These fats are also known as good fats and help to lessen the bad cholesterol in the blood. If eaten in moderation, it is a great replacement for saturated fats and can help to reduce hypertension in the body.
  • Cashew nuts are rich in magnesium, an important mineral that contributes significantly to overall health. Magnesium is vital for healthy bone development and can help to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Cashew nuts are a great source of iron. This is vital for pregnant women as their bodies produce more blood in order to nourish the fetus. Cashews are easy to eat and can help stave off fatigue caused by the lack of iron.
  • Another benefit of cashew nuts is the improvement in hair growth as it is rich in iron. 
  • In recent times, specialists recommend the inclusion of cashew nuts in weight loss diets as these are filled with nutrition and are a good source of monounsaturated fats. However, the key is to restrict consumption. Over eating can lead to weight gain, as cashews are high in calories.

Cashews are hard to resist, but if we pace ourselves and eat them reasonably then we can definitely enjoy its benefits.

Side effects

Cashew nuts have certain drawbacks as well. Let us take a quick look at a few of them:
  • As mentioned earlier, binging on cashew nuts can lead to unnecessary weight gain because it is high in calories.
  • Nut allergies have become increasingly common in today’s world. Reaction to eating these nuts can sometimes be fatal. It is therefore, crucial that one consults a doctor immediately in case of symptoms of an allergy like hives, itchiness or difficulty in breathing.
  • Salted cashews are an easily available snack option. They are delicious in taste too. However, people with high blood pressure should avoid them because of the high levels of sodium in it.
  • People who are prone to migraines should avoid eating cashew nuts. This is because they contain amino acids that can cause headaches.
  • So far, there is no evidence to show that cashew nuts interfere with medications. However, as a precaution it is always best to get an expert opinion from your doctor.



Submitted on January 16, 2014