Are Cashews Good for You?
										Rich in vitamins and nutrients, find out what can happen to your body when you eat cashews.

Are Cashews Good for You? Rich in vitamins and nutrients, find out what can happen to your body when you eat cashews.

With a buttery smooth texture and ultra-rich flavor, it’s not surprising that cashews are among the most popular and beloved nuts you can find on grocery store shelves. Cashews aren’t just a convenient portable snack—they’re incredibly versatile, too. In fact, these kidney-shaped nuts can be made into non-dairy milk, cream, and butter alternatives.

While you may already know that cashews are delicious, you may not be aware of the many effects eating cashews can have on your health. Not only are cashews high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, but they also contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your body in many different ways. At the same time, those who are especially health-conscious might question the true extent of cashews’ nutritional advantages. They may even be inclined to turn their noses up at this nut because of the oils and high-fat content.

So, are cashews good for you? Read on to find out—and for more science-backed information on a health food fave, be sure to check out 11 Science-Backed Benefits of Bananas.

A look at the nutrition content of cashews

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a one-ounce (28-gram) serving of raw cashews can supply your body with about:

To help us get to the bottom of whether or not cashews are actually good for you, we consulted a few dietitians for their expert insight and did a little digging into the scientific research around this nut and its nutritional properties. From better blood sugar control to a healthier heart, here are some potential benefits of eating cashews.

“One ounce of cashews provides 10% of the daily recommended amount of iron. This mineral contributes to the normal function of the immune system,” Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Up Your Veggies: Flexitarian Recipes for the Whole Family, tells Eat This, Not That!

12 effects of eating cashews

“Cashews are high in polyphenols and carotenoids, [which are] antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and could ultimately reduce the risk of several chronic diseases,” says Sarah Garone, NDTR, of A Love Letter to Food. “Research shows that roasted cashews are somewhat higher in antioxidants, so opt for a roasted variety for even more antioxidant potential.”

“One ounce of cashews provides 8% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K,” says Amidor. Research shows that this vitamin can be key in protecting and maintaining strong, healthy bones.

“Calcium and vitamin D are certainly important nutrients for bone health, but the Bone and Health Osteoporosis Foundation also lists vitamin K as a nutrient important for bone health and recommends eating sources of vitamin K at every meal or snack,” adds Amidor.

Nuts and seeds are well known for their impressive antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize damage-causing free radicals in your body, thus shielding your body from disease and reducing inflammation overall. Cashews, in particular, are an excellent source of two types of antioxidants: polyphenols and carotenoids. Note, however, that roasted cashews appear to have greater antioxidant activity than raw ones.

“Including cashews in your diet can help ensure that you are getting these essential nutrients for optimal eye health,” explains Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, at Balance One Supplements. “Cashews are good for eye health because they are a rich source of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are important for maintaining healthy vision and protecting the eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases.”

Additionally, research suggests that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the polyphenols and carotenoids contained in cashews can also benefit eye health.

Cashews are good for brain health because they are rich in vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant that helps protect brain cells from oxidative damage,” says Best. “Studies have shown that vitamin E may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Cashews are also a good source of magnesium, which is essential for healthy brain function and can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.”

Many people wrongly assume that nuts are a no-no when you’re trying to shed pounds since they’re a calorie-dense, high-fat food. But a 2017 study in Nutrients revealed that people who regularly munch on nuts are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who don’t. This could be because nuts are incredibly satiating—thanks to a powerhouse combo of protein, fiber, and fats—thereby promoting weight loss.

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