The health benefits of cashew nuts
If you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, you’ve come across cashews. They are one of the main ingredients in Indian curry powder, a spice blend that differs from the curry you may eat on Western menus.
The word ‘curry’ actually comes from the Tamil word ‘kari’, which means ‘to hide’ or ‘to conceal’. Indeed, cashews originated on the Indian Ocean island of Ceylon, where they were grown as a vegetable to hide fish bones and add flavour to curries.
But cashews weren’t always so hidden. It was first cultivated in Brazil in the 16th century, and it was the Portuguese who first noticed how nutritious it was.
What are the health benefits of cashews?
As already mentioned, cashews are a good source of protein and are rich in minerals such as manganese, magnesium and iron. They are also rich in a type of fatty acid called ‘omega-3’, which is thought to lower blood pressure and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body. However, you should be careful about the amount of cashew nuts you eat.
In addition, the oleic acid in cashews can reduce inflammation in the body and improve heart health. This is why eating a little cashew every day can be beneficial.
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart
Research shows that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids – such as those found in salmon and walnuts, flaxseed and walnuts – can reduce the risk of developing an unhealthy heart condition called coronary heart disease.
A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol – such as that found in fruit and vegetables – can also reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and may also reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
While many foods are good for the heart, cashews are perhaps one of the most versatile.
Not only are they a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also a good source of iron, which is another mineral vital for heart health.
Boosts the immune system
Studies have also shown that a diet rich in magnesium – such as that found in cashews – can improve overall immune system health.
This means you’re less likely to get sick and inflammation in the body is reduced, which can help treat a number of conditions, from common colds and flus to allergies and autoimmune disorders.
Cashews help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
One of the main reasons people turn to nuts for their health benefits is their high fibre content. Fibre is known to reduce the absorption of glucose in the body and can help fight type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have even found that the dietary fibre in nuts can reduce the amount of glucose absorbed by the body by up to 25%, which is a very important health benefit.
In addition, a diet rich in soluble fibre can also help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Relieves back pain
Back pain can be a distressing condition, and many people turn to painkillers and other pain medications. But these drugs come at a price. According to one study, a compound in the spice turmeric called curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce back pain and improve posture.
In fact, one study found that people who supplemented their diet with 500mg of curcumin per day experienced less pain and discomfort than those who took a placebo.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is also found in large quantities in the spice turmeric. So if you like to add a little spice to your meals, turmeric is a good choice.
Cashews are great for your skin and hair
The health benefits of cashews, like the health benefits of pecans, don’t stop at heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. They are also incredibly helpful for your skin and hair.
A diet rich in healthy fats can promote healthy skin and hair.
Studies have shown that eating omega-3 fatty acids – such as those found in fish and nuts – can help reduce the appearance of acne and skin blemishes.
In addition, the oleic acid found in walnuts can help reduce scalp inflammation and improve hair condition.
Cashews and Weight Loss: It’s not a myth!
As mentioned earlier, a high-fibre diet can help you lose weight. But that’s not all that’s good for you!
The natural sugars in nuts can also help you feel fuller for longer, which can make it easier to resist cravings for sweet foods and baked goods. Cashews and weight loss can be linked if consumed correctly.
In addition, a diet rich in healthy fats can reduce your appetite, making it more difficult to gain weight.
Cashews have so many health benefits that it’s hard to know where to start. They are an excellent source of protein, a natural source of fat, and contain many minerals and vitamins essential for good health.
You should try to eat nuts at least twice a week to get all their benefits, but you don’t have to limit yourself to cashews.
You can try almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and a variety of other nuts.
As you can see, nuts are a great snack or meal replacement to add to your diet. They have many benefits and can satisfy your hunger, give you energy and help you lose weight.