Cashews have a buttery, sweet, and salty taste, an unmistakable shape, and they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They grow on cashew nut trees, which are native to subtropical climates.
Raw, unsalted cashews are often used in vegan recipes as well as in Indian cooking. Many of us eat cashews after they have been roasted and salted, which turns them into a delicious snack.
What Are the Health Benefits of Cashews?
Although cashews are one of the lowest-fiber nuts, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function.
Research shows that eating more nuts, such as cashews, can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. This may occur by reducing blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels. Nuts are naturally cholesterol-free and contain good amounts of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They also contain arginine, which protects the inner lining of artery walls.
Other vitamins and minerals in nuts, like potassium, vitamins E and B6, and folic acid, also help to fight heart disease.
The copper and iron in cashews work together to help the body form and utilize red blood cells. This in turn keeps blood vessels, nerves, the immune system, and bones healthy and functioning properly.
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for your eyes, but it might come as a surprise that cashews are too! They contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants when consumed regularly. These compounds protect the eyes from light damage (which can turn into blindness in the elderly), and can even help decrease the instance of cataracts.
According to Harvard research, two servings of nuts a day is helpful in fighting against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Replacing animal fats and proteins with the mono-and polyunsaturated fats found in cashews is an excellent way to manage your weight and reduce the build-up of fat and cholesterol in the heart.
What About the Fat?
Cashews contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of fat. The good news is that these fats are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
When substituted for saturated fats and eaten in moderation, mono- and polyunsaturated fats can help improve heart disease as well as reduce the risk for stroke and prevent weight gain.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is great for promoting positive cell growth and overall health in the human body.
Consumption of cashews has been linked to cancer prevention, heart health, and weight maintenance. Cashews make a great replacement for animal fats and proteins, and their delicious flavor makes them a satisfying snack.
Without a doubt, cashews are a versatile and healthy food, unique among other nuts and packed with the vitamins and nutrients essential to good health. The next time you can, grab a handful of cashews and enjoy the benefits of this amazing nut!
Culled from http://www.healthline.com/health/are-cashews-good-for-you