Cashew Nuts Nutrition, Calories, Proteins, Carbs, and more
Before we talk of cashew nuts nutrition, let us know some basic facts abut it. Cashew is a kidney-shaped nut obtained from the cashew tree, which is a tropical tree native to South America, mainly Brazil but now grown in different parts of the world. Colonists introduced cashews to India and Africa, and now they are the largest producers of this high nutrients nut.
It is a sweet-flavoured nut with a soft consistency and unlike other nuts, do not grow within the fruit but hangs from the bottom of the fruit.
One can have cashews raw, roasted, salted or unsalted, or as a portable snack. These days, cashew milk, cashew-based sauces and sour cream and cashew-based cheese are extremely popular due to their nutritional values and no cholesterol.
No Indian dessert is complete without the topping of cashews and other nuts. In mostly Punjabi and Mughlai cuisines, a paste of these wonderful nuts has been used for many decades. It is one of the main ingredients in Punjabi Dum Aloo gravy and Makhani Gravy.
Here, we have compiled all cashew nuts nutrition facts, benefits and downsides of cashews to find out whether they are good for our health. Read on:
Cashews contain only 8 g saturated fats while 32 g unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are good for the body as they reduce the risk of heart disease and premature death, study says.
Cashews are low in sugar with 6 grams.
The protein content in cashews is equivalent to the protein found in cooked meat.
All nuts and seeds, including cashews, are packed with antioxidants, which are essential for good health as they neutralize the free radicals. Sequentially, they boost the immune system and help reduce inflammation. The main antioxidants that are found in cashews are- polyphenols and carotenoids. Also, research suggests that roasted cashews have an enhanced antioxidant activity compared to the raw one. However, more research on this is required.
Cashews are also rich in copper, magnesium and manganese, which are important for strong immune systems, energy production, brain and bone health.
Benefits of Cashews
Usually nuts are rich in fat and calories and thus people who wanted to lose weight are suggested to avoid them but several studies, including this one, contradicts that notion.
Along with this, they are also high in fibre and protein, which suppress hunger and stimulate feelings of satiety, both of which are vital to losing excess weight.
Many studies (1,2) associate cashews to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. They also have a low LDL (bad) cholesterol to HDL(good) cholesterol ratios, which are also an indicator of good health.
Studies also mention that this wonder nut is helpful in reducing the risk of cancer and mortality from respiratory disease and other infections.
These nuts are also good for people with type 2 diabetes. The presence of fibre prevents the rise in blood sugar levels and thus provides protection against type 2 diabetes.
A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, says regular intake of cashews lowers the risk of needing surgery to take out the gallbladder.
The richness of magnesium in cashews make this nut extremely potent for health. Magnesium helps in neuromuscular transmission, muscle relation and bone formation. Moreover, it plays a vital role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions within the body.
The presence of 622 mg of copper ensures lower bone mineral density and thus help in avoiding osteoporosis
Potential Risks Associated With Cashews
Generally, Cashews are a safe addition to any diet. But salted cashews can contain high levels of salt or added oils. Therefore, it is wise to consume unsalted dry roasted cashews.
Cashews are high in fats, however, mostly are unsaturated ones and thus not harmful for the body if taken in moderate quantities.
Raw cashews contain a poisonous substance known as urushiol, which causes a skin reaction in many people. So, it’s better to consume steamed cashew kernels, which are healthy.
cashews contain a compound known as phytates that make it difficult for the body to absorb vitamins and minerals. Hence, soaking cashews overnight removes phytates and improves digestion.
Some people have nut allergy due to the presence of potent allergens in them. So, these people should avoid cashews.
Cashews Nutrition Data
Scientific Name: Anacardium occidentale
Higher classification: Anacardium
Amount Per 100 grams (Data Sourced from: USDA– The United States Department of Agriculture)
|Nutrients||Quantity||% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat||44 g||67%|
|Dietary Fibre||3.3 g||13%|
|Total Carbohydrate||30 g||10%|
*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.