Now it’s time to read about the impressive health benefits of cashews, the hearty nut everyone loves so much! I’m sure you’re aware of the basic health benefits of cashews such as its anti-diabetic properties and the fact that it’s a brain-food.
But do you know the rest? Believe it or not, cashews are good for weight loss, treating bone injuries, lowering chances of respiratory diseases, and it’s a powerful anti-cancer agent. Rest assured, these are all science-backed benefits with precise and authentic evidence to support it. This super nut also helps ease muscle stiffness, increase energy production, and provide relief from gallstones and other metabolic diseases.
If you don’t still believe me, let’s dive right in.
Before we proceed, you should know that eating too many cashews, on a daily basis, might cause constipation, due to its low-fiber content. So moderation is key in this situation. (1)
1. Eating Cashews Daily Can Reduce Signs Of Diabetes
Due to its low sugar content and healthy cholesterol, cashews contain good sources of nutrients for diabetes prevention.
A study investigated the positive effect of cashew extract on diabetes, and proved that it helps in keeping blood sugar levels normal. The study also concluded that cashews regulate a normal insulin response to prevent extreme insulin resistance in the body.
Cashew nuts regulate blood sugar levels by improving the muscle cells response to it. In fact, it helps in the proper absorption of blood sugar in the cells. (2)
Another study showed that a regular dose of cashew nuts can drastically lower fasting glucose levels and improve glycemic index of the body. (3)
An independent research was conducted to test the effects of cashew nuts on reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. But this study also concluded that cashews have a powerful anti-diabetic effect on the body. (4)
Key Takeaway: On the account of multiple studies, it can be said that cashews have effective anti-diabetic properties. It improves blood sugar absorption in the muscle cells, hence increasing energy and reducing fat buildup and abnormal insulin activity.
2. Cashews Have Cholesterol-Lowering Properties
People with high-cholesterol problems should consume good amounts of cashews on a daily basis.
Studies recommend a regular dosage of 1 teaspoon or 4 g of cashews may improve blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol. Cashews, along with other types of nuts, reduce lipoprotein levels in the blood which is a major determinant of high cholesterol.
It also proves that cashews work hard to free up plaque buildup in the arteries, hence lowering your chances of suffering from heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular diseases. (5)
One study on cashew consumption proved that a regular cashews diet, when compared with a high-fat diet, can be used as a diet plan to fight high cholesterol levels. (6)
However, cashews are good sources of protein and dietary fat, so only a limited amount of cashew consumption is essential to lower cholesterol. (7)
Key Takeaway: Cashews contain powerful nutrients that have cholesterol-reducing properties. Interestingly, cashews are no-cholesterol nuts, but they do have the “good” fats for energy production. So a regular intake of these nuts is essential for a healthy heart.
3. Cashews Are The Best Nuts To Eat To Treat Arthritis
Cashews contain good amounts of copper and magnesium offering positive arthritic benefits. When you eat foods rich in these two nutrients, it promotes bone health to prevent age-related bone diseases.
Weaker bones are prone to injuries, inflammation, and stiffness. That’s why you need to increase bone mineral density with the help of super foods.
Cashews, on the one hand, offer 40% of copper and 20% of magnesium intake. Deficiency in both these nutrients may cause rheumatoid arthritis which is an inflammatory disease of the bones.
The best way to fight this disease and treat it is with the help of a regular cashews diet. That’s because copper and magnesium travels through your bloodstream to reduce free radical damage-induced inflammation in the bones. (8)
Another research based on scientific facts proved that cashews, high in magnesium and copper, promote better nutrient absorption while reducing serious effects of free radical damage in the bones. It helps keep inflammation under control and increases adiponectin levels in the bloodstream. (9)
Key Takeaway: Research showed that cashews, rich in magnesium and copper, help improve bone health. The antioxidant capacity of these nuts reduce severe symptoms of inflammation in the bones causing joint stiffness, fractures, and swelling.
4. Cashews Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties To Treat Wounds
Regular cashew consumption can help accelerate the healing process of skin injuries and other internal wounds. Inflammation can cause more damage to weaker and injured cells if left untreated. That’s why better nutrient absorption is so essential.
Having said that, cashews contain powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. These antioxidants act as natural compounds to scavenge free radicals and inhibit cellular damage. These compounds also inhibit free radical formation around sensitive wounds to quicken the healing process. (10)
The wound healing properties of cashews can also be seen in its intracellular function. What this means is cashews with its vitamins and antioxidant capacity is able to lower plasma concentration and endothelial markers in the body. This reduces inflammation drastically than other conventional methods. (11)
Key Takeaway: Cashews are powerful anti-inflammatory foods to consume on a daily basis. Eating these nuts daily or weekly can lower risk of developing proinflammatory infections and injuries. Plus, it helps heal wounds faster due to its high antioxidant capacity.
5. Cashew Is A Powerful Fat-Burning Nut
Contrary to popular beliefs, certain types of nuts do play a positive role in weight loss and weight management. Cashews do contain dietary fat, but they’re also extremely nutrient dense to begin with.
Cashews contain many nutrients that aid weight loss, such as protein, copper, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins.
Copper is considered to be the leading agent in burning fat. It targets fat metabolism. The research showed that dietary copper induces higher lipid levels in the liver by melting away high fat deposits in the body.
If consumed regularly, the copper can help in the breakdown of fat molecules rather than store them in muscle cells. (12)
A consistent magnesium dosage, with the help of cashews, can improve insulin and glucose levels. This has a direct impact of fat metabolism in diabetic and/or obese patients. People who consumed good amounts of magnesium in their diet showed less swelling and bloating than those who didn’t. (13)
On an ending note, zinc, magnesium, and protein can help use up body fat for energy. Studies suggest that daily intake of protein can replace belly fat with muscles for increased stamina and flexibility.
Key Takeaway: Cashews contain powerful nutrients such as zinc, copper, magnesium, and protein that aid weight loss.
6. Zinc Present In Cashews Is Vital For Hair Growth
Cashews contain essential nutrients including zinc, but only in small quantities. Recent research suggests that dietary zinc, when consumed in decent amounts, has an impact on hair growth.
The recommended dosage of zinc for healthy hair is 4 mg for women and 5.5 mg for men. And a single ounce of cashews contains almost 1.5 mg of zinc. (16)
This same study published that zinc consumption helped heal skin injuries, skin inflammation, painful sores, and leg ulcers. People who consumed sufficient zinc in their daily diet had normal levels of albumin in the blood. This reduces the severe side-effects of zinc deficiency in the body.
The same study conducted a different trial on 5 patients with peripheral nerve pain, ataxia, and paraesthesia. The symptoms of which were mildly reduce with the supplementation of zinc in the diet.
Key Takeaway: Cashews are good sources of zinc which helps improve skin health. Improve skin health and healing can draw inflammatory toxins away from the skin cells to reduce nerve pain, tightening the skin, and sores.
7. Cashews Help Prevent Development Of Gallstones In The Body
Gallstones or gallbladder stone disease is characterized by stone-like deposits in the gallbladder that restrict fluid retention. This chronic disease doesn’t show any common symptoms, but if left undiagnosed it can cause abdominal pain.
A study conducted on gallstones disease showed that nuts rich in vitamins and minerals, such as cashews, offer protective factors against this chronic disease. It protects the metabolic system, encourages rapid weight loss, and maintains healthy hormone levels. (17)
Key Takeaway: Cashews promote healthy cholesterol levels which plays a major role in the prevention of gallstones. Without normal cholesterol secretion in the body, cholesterol transforms itself into stone-like deposits in the gallbladder.
8. Cashews Play A Key Role In Promoting Bone Health
A high protein intake can help prevent bone-related diseases and joint inflammation, studies suggest. Cashews are a powerhouse of healthy proteins. They good for not only for energy production and converting mass to muscle, but also for increasing bone mineral density.
Adequate amounts of protein in the diet can improve the body’s immune response to weaker bones. It also prevents bone fractures, hip breaks, and inflammation giving rise to cancer or osteoporosis.
The kind of bone-related diseases related with age keep increasing with a lack of protein diet. And as you get older, you require more amounts of protein to fight chronic protein deficiency. That’s why the consumption of more cashew nuts is important. (18)
Another study concluded that other nutrients present in cashews such as magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron also play a role in bone health. It protects the body against bone mineralization. While the antioxidant capacity of the nuts reduce proinflammatory bone diseases. (19)
Coupled with regular exercise, high amounts of vitamins, calcium, and protein can improve bone metabolic demand and density. (20)
Key Takeaway: A healthy diet is essential for promoting bone health. Having said that, cashews contain a bunch of nutritive compounds that aid bone stamina. It fights bone mineralization and joint inflammation to increase bone mineral density to a healthy measure.
9. Cashews Increase The Antioxidant Capacity Of The Body
Consumption of cashews has been linked to the reduction of oxidative stress-induced diseases such as metabolic syndrome and heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
A study conducted on 64 volunteers with 29 male and 35 female population. These volunteers were suffering from metabolic syndrome with a high oxidant capacity. The results showed that a regular intake of cashew nuts resulted in an increase in the patient’s antioxidant capacity. (21)
This study also concluded that a 20% nut intake for energy improved not only antioxidant capacity, but also metabolic response to oxidative stress in the patients.
One study tested the effectiveness of the phytochemicals present in cashew nuts. It proved that the bioactive compounds present in it offer anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and chemopreventive benefits. This helps in the inhibition of different types of harmful pathogens in the human body. (22)
Key Takeaway: Cashews contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that improve antioxidant capacity within the human body. It prevents weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome; all of which are directly associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
10. Cashews Contain Flavonols That Brings Blood Pressure Back To Normal
If you’ve not heard about cocoa flavanols, then let’s talk about that for a minute. These contribute to improving cardiovascular function. They also help in eliminating physical stress on the heart, which is something that we all deal with due to aging and artery stiffening.
In fact, cocoa flavanols also lower the chances of developing severe cardiovascular conditions. And cashews are rich sources of flavanols. So everything related to the heart, including bringing the blood pressure back to normal, is something that cashew nuts are responsible for.
It’s important that we incorporate a healthy diet filled with nuts to cut down the risks of cardiovascular diseases. You will be glad to know that cashew nuts do an excellent job when it comes to maintaining heart health and proper functioning of blood vessels. (23)
Key Takeaway: Making it a point to consume cashews, which means flavanols, helps the body in two ways. It reduces blood pressure and corrects blood cholesterol. And that means better cardiovascular health.
11. The Bioactive Compounds Present In Cashews Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Nuts like cashews are rich in bioactive compounds. And these components perform excellent anti-cancer activities in the body.
Not many of us know this but consuming cashew nuts on a regular basis tends to lower the chances of developing common cancers. And that’s because nuts consist of highly beneficial antioxidant vitamins.
These vitamins help in providing protection against free moving radicals in the body. Such a damage leads to the formation of oxidative stress, which turns into tumor development and cell mutation.
So in such cases, what cashews do is suppress the growth of cancer cells. They have a high bioactive compound content. And it’s this particular anti-cancer property that makes cashews a great addition to our daily diet. (24)
Key Takeaway: Cashews come with antioxidant vitamins. And we all know how important these are in protecting the body against harmful radicals. So it’s safe to say that cashews, much like other nuts, perform anti-cancer activities in the body.
12. Cashews Lower The Risk Of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia caused by iron deficiency is a state where your body doesn’t receive enough iron, which reduces the count of red blood cells. Iron is an important component in the production of red blood cells. And these cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the various tissues and organs of the body. (25)
So in this context, cashews are an excellent source for iron. Consuming 30 grams of these nuts provides the body with an optimal level of iron content. And this promotes healthy red blood cells production. (26)
You should also know that nuts like cashews contain useful nutrients. They not only treat iron deficiency but also eliminate the chances of developing such conditions in the future.
Key Takeaway: It’s quite simple. Anemia is related to iron deficiency, which is responsible for the reduction of red blood cells. So in such cases, what cashews does is provide the body with an optimal level of iron to boost the overall development and health of red blood cells.
13. Cashews Are Healthy Brain-Food
One important fact that you should know is that brain food affects our cognitive processes as well as emotions. And cashews fall under that category. The vital mechanisms present in cashew nuts have a significant impact on mental function and brain health. (27)
Another point to note here is that cashews contain a sufficient level of vitamin K. This particular component helps in slowing down cognitive decline.
As we get older, our brain tends to lose cognitive abilities. And this is how old people suffer from conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (28)
To lower the possibility of developing these kinds of age-related brain diseases, it’s important to consume an optimal level of vitamin K. So it’s safe to say that the daily consumption of cashews can go a long way in providing health benefits related to our mental and brain functions.
Key Takeaway: The consumption of vitamin K in cashew nuts is directly linked to slower rate of cognitive decline. The nutrients present in cashews keep the brain in a healthy and fully functional condition in the present moment and for the long haul.
14. Cashews Prevent Proliferation Of Inflammatory Respiratory Diseases
Ever heard of a Mediterranean diet? It is a diet that consists of fruits, veggies, and nuts. Such a diet goes a long way in protecting your body against asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis. Cashews, in particular, have proved to reduce such respiratory symptoms as well as allergic reactions. (29)
Not many people know this but cashews contain an optimal level of dietary copper. And copper does an excellent job at preventing the expansion of viruses associated with the respiratory system.
These viruses are directly related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). So it stands to reason that cashew nuts help in controlling the transmission of inflammatory respiratory viruses. (30)
Key Takeaway: Many people suffer from inflammatory respiratory issues. So in such cases, cashews help in minimizing the symptoms associated with these conditions. The nuts contain dietary copper, which curbs the spread of the disease within the body.
15. People Who Consume More Cashews Have A Healthier Heart
Studies point out that the daily intake of 20 grams of nuts has the ability to reduce the chances of developing heart diseases. To be more specific, cashew nuts cut down the risks of coronary-related heart disease by as much as 30 percent. (31)
As we all know that fat consumption increases CV (cardiovascular) risk. But when you incorporate nuts into your diet, you notice 50% reduction in the risks related to cardiovascular health.
You should also know that consuming nuts also minimizes LDL cholesterol. This is another important element associated with cardiovascular health. And cashew nuts do so without giving rise to any negative impacts or weight gain. (32)
Key Takeaway: Maintaining a healthy heart is not only important but also necessary when it comes to reducing the rate of heart disease. So keeping this in mind, cashews nuts are highly beneficial for cardiovascular health. The dietary intake of nuts can drastically reduce if not eliminate the chances of developing severe heart conditions.
5 Unbelievably Delicious Cashew Recipes
Versatility is important when it comes to food, right? And cashews have an incredibly versatile nature. You can add this ingredient into various kinds of dishes or eat it as a snack too. Cashew nuts are seeds that offer a smooth, creamy texture when you all you want to do is eat cheesy vegan food. And they also provide substance and crunch to Asian dishes along with chicken. So let’s find out how you can incorporate cashews into your diet.
1. Rosemary Style Roasted Cashews
The easiest and tastiest way to make cashews a part of your daily diet is by roasting them but with a delightful twist.
1 tbsp of melted butter
2 tsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of cayenne
1-1/4 pounds of cashew nuts
Preheat your microwave to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use an ungreased, fresh baking sheet to lay out the cashew nuts. Bake them for 10 minutes, or until they become warm from within.
In the meantime, bring together butter, salt, sugar, pepper, and rosemary in a bowl.
Then toss the nuts with this mixture thoroughly and serve them warm.
2. Cashew Vegan Dill Cheese
If all you can think of is heavenly vegan cheese, then here’s how you can prepare it with cashews.
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1/4 cup of fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp of agar powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1 cup of water
1 cup of raw cashews
1 tsp of sea salt
Grease 6 slots of the muffin tin with vegetable oil.
Combine these ingredients in your food processor or blender: onion powder, salt, nutritional yeast, and cashews. The goal is to achieve a fine, smooth texture.
Heat some water on a saucepan. Once it starts to boil, add agar. Use a whisk to stir the solution before reducing the heat. Let it simmer for not more than 5 minutes.
Now you can add the cashews mixture into the saucepan and stir properly. Then comes in the dill. Whisk the whole dish thoroughly.
The next step is to spoon the whole mixture into the muffin tins. Once that’s in place, you can keep refrigerate them.
The cheese will take not more than 60 minutes to set completely. Following which you can lay it out on a plate and make the most of it.
3. Cashew Baklava
Since when did cooking Baklava become an easy task? Since the time we decided to make it with cashews. This cashew Baklava recipe is not only quick to prepare but also utterly delicious to eat.
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of ground allspice
1-1/2 cups of chopped walnuts
2/3 cup of melted butter
1 tsp of ground cardamom
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups of salted cashews
16 sheets of phyllo dough
For the syrup:
2/3 cup of water
3 slices of lemon
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
2/3 cup of honey
1-1/3 cups of sugar
Let’s prepare the filling first. For that, you need to combine allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, walnuts, and cashews in your food processor. The goal is to chop the nuts into fine pieces.
Then brush a baking pan using some butter before unrolling the phyllo dough. You can trim it as per your requirements.
Layer as many as four phyllo dough sheets in the pan. Make sure to add butter to each one. Sprinkle a little bit of the cashew nut mixture. Repeat the layers twice. Then top it off with the remaining dough, brushing every sheet using butter.
Then with a knife, slice into as many as 24 triangles. Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until they turn golden brown.
In the meantime, you can prepare the syrup. Bring together all the syrup ingredients. Boil them and let the solution simmer for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then you can discard cloves and lemon slices.
Now the time has come to pour this mixture over the warm Baklava. You can let it cool on the wire rack. Leave it covered for an overnight before you savor it.
4. Cashew Clusters
For your next bake sale, you know what to make! Many people like to eat cashews as a snack too, so here’s how you can do it in a more appetizing manner.
2 cups of salted cashews
1 cup of chocolate chips, semi-sweet
1/3 cup of chocolate chips (the regular milk version)
2 cups of salted cashews, chopped into pieces
4 ounces of chopped German chocolate, sweet
1 pound of candy coating (white), coarsely chopped
Bring together everything except the cashews in a microwave-friendly bowl. Cover it and place it in the oven to melt all the chocolate. This should not take more than 6 minutes. Make sure to stir it 10-12 times during this period.
Then add the cashews. Now is the time to drop parts of the blend using a tablespoon on top of waxed paper laid on pans. Wait for them to set before storing it all in the airtight container. And that’s about it!
5. Cashew Crunch Spinach Chicken Waldorf
A perfect combination of crunchy, chewy, sweet, and salty. This recipe contains an array of different yet delightful flavors that add a new twist to a boring salad.
For the dressing:
3 tbsp of crumbled bacon
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
3 tbsp of vinegar, white wine or champagne
1/3 cup of olive oil
Pepper, freshly ground
3 tbsp of horseradish mustard
1/3 cup of walnut oil
4-1/2 tsp of sugar
For the salad:
1 large shredded apple
4 cups of curly kale, sliced
4 cups of frisee, chopped
3 cups of rotisserie chicken, torn
6 ounces of grated cheddar
4 chopped boiled eggs
8 cups of spinach leaves
1/4 cup of flame raisins
1/4 cup of crumbled bacon
1/4 cup of walnuts
1/4 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of almonds
Pepper, freshly ground
As is the case with salads, you need to prepare the dressing first. So for that, whisk together sugar, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Once sugar dissolves, bring in the walnut oil and olive oil. Then add bacon before seasoning the dressing with pepper and salt.
The next step is to prepare the salad. So preheat your microwave to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast the walnuts, cashews, and almonds on a baking sheet. Don’t forget to toss them halfway through. Wait for them to turn golden brown, which takes at least 10 minutes. Then let them cool before chopping.
Then in a large sized bowl, toss nuts, raisins, bacon, chicken, kale, frisee. Add some seasoning too. Now you can bring in the spinach, cheddar, and eggs. Taste the salad to check if more seasoning is required.
Then divide the dish into servings, piling all the ingredients like a mountain.
Wrapping It Up
What’s your take on the surprising health benefits of cashews? I’m sure you’re wondering why you didn’t already know about this before. The dietary fats and other nutrients found in cashews contribute to your daily diet. Providing you all the essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants your body requires. These nutrients also promote mental and physical development in children as well as in adults.
Such positive cellular growth and overall well-being is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, don’t you think so? With that out of the way, the delicious flavor of cashews makes it not only a rejuvenating snack, but also a healthy ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and main course dishes. There’s no limit to how you can incorporate cashew nuts to your daily diet, so the only thing left to do is to buy some cashew nuts right away!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.