Delicious, buttery-flavored cashews are the most popular nut in America. Besides being so tasty and versatile, they also pack a nutritional punch. Despite the popular myth that cashews cause weight gain, the truth is snacking on cashews or adding them to salads and other meals can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and much more.
Here are some science-based ways cashews improve your health:
- Weight loss. Nuts are high in calories and fat, but a 2017 study found that people who eat nuts regularly maintain a healthy weight. Experts say it may be because nuts like cashews are high in fiber, protein and fats that keep you feeling fuller, longer. Cashews contain less fat and calories than almonds, peanuts, or walnuts, says Eat This, Not That!
- Blood pressure. A 2019 study revealed that eating cashews may help reduce high blood pressure, a condition that affects over 10 million adults in the U.S. Make sure that you consume cashews that are unsalted, however.
- Cholesterol. Several studies have demonstrated that eating cashews not only lowers the “bad,” LDL cholesterol, but also increases the levels of HDL, called the “good” cholesterol.
- Boost overall heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and a review published in 2007 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating nuts four times a week lowered the risk of heart disease by an impressive 37%. According to Eat This, Not That! another 2018 study discovered that people with diabetes who ate raw, unsalted cashew nuts experienced a decrease in cardiovascular risk factors. Their blood pressure fell, and their HDL levels rose.
- Type 2 diabetes. According to Healthline, people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from adding cashews to their diet. That’s because the fiber in these nuts may help control blood sugar levels and prevent spikes. Cashews are also low in sugar which makes them an excellent choice for people with this condition.
- Cancer prevention. Cashews contain antioxidants and other compounds that can suppress the replication of cancer cells. The most important of these are proanthocyanidins, says SimplyHealth.IO, a natural health and nutrition-based website. Cashews also contain the important mineral copper, which helps reduce the chances of cancer cell mutation.
- Migraines and headaches. Another significant mineral found in cashews is magnesium, which plays a role in relieving muscle spasms under the scalp that trigger migraine headaches. Daryl Gioffre, a board-certified chiropractor, nutritionist, and author of “Get Off Your Acid,” tells Newsmax that magnesium is the most important mineral we need in terms of day-to-day function, and yet half of us are deficient. Magnesium deficiency is most often caused by lifestyle factors, including a diet that’s high in processed foods, and alcohol abuse, and type 2 diabetes.
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