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Are Cashews Fattening? Everything Explained

It used to be all rainbows and sunshine. Everyone seemed to love Cashews and soon the word on the street came that Cashews are actually fattening. Are Cashews even good for you?

Known for its kidney-shaped structures, Cashew is one of the healthy nuts that has been consumed for a while now. Native to northeastern Brazil, Cashews are widely cultivated across various warm climates around the world.

The wide use of cashew is quite evident with the development in the form of plant-based alternatives such as Cashew milk, Cashew based cheese, Cashew bases cream sour, and many more.

Filled with monounsaturated oleic acid, omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and other essential nutrients, Cashew is really a go-to snack for many of us. However, the talk of the town really seems to be questioning the existence of cashew. 

With claims of being high in calories, cashew has slowly garnered attention for contributing to weight gain. So, do cashews make you fat? Or should I stay away from it?

Are Cashews good for you?

Before deciding whether Cashews are good, you need to know what actually makes up Cashew. It is estimated that one ounce of raw Cashew (28.35g)  provide you :

  • Calories: 157
  • Carbohydrates: 8.56g
  • Sugar: 1.68g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Protein: 5.17g
  • Total fat: 12.43 g
  • Calcium: 10 mg
  • Iron: 1.89 mg
  • Magnesium: 83 mg 
  • Phosphorus: 168 mg
  • Potassium: 187 mg
  • Sodium:  3 mg 
  • Zinc: 1.64 mg
  • Ascorbic acid: 0.1 mg
  • Thiamine: 0.120 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.016 mg
  • Niacin: 0.301 mg

All these nutrients are considered to stimulate good health in general. However, there can be cases where any of the elements might not work in the way they did for others.

Cashew nuts are filled with healthy fats that help cholesterol levels and help keep your heart healthy. Further, Cashews contain a substantial amount of copper which is a vital element for energy production, healthy brain development, and a strong immune system.

A rich source of magnesium and manganese, they are also considered great for bone health.

Benefits of Cashews

Cashews are filled with many benefits making them quite preferable nuts over other nuts.

1.Keeps your heart young 

Cashews contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids which help in lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Adequate consumption of magnesium has been known to reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease which often happens when the heart fails to receive enough blood.

Magnesium is also recognized to support the elasticity of blood vessels by stimulating the build-up of elastin. Elastin is considered an important structural protein in the body and is vital for the elasticity of the blood vessel.

2.May be helpful in diabetes prevention 

People with type 2 diabetes might actually benefit from the consumption of Cashews. Type 2 diabetes patients have increased blood sugar levels. Cashews contain fiber which aids in preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. 

Cashews are low in carbohydrates making them a great alternative for diabetic patients.

3.Bone health

Cashews are good sources of dietary copper making them highly favorable for bone health. The copper deficiency in the body often results in lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. 

The deficiency of copper also results in damaged connective tissue or collagen that results in the scaffolding for the bone. This can eventually lead to severe problems such as joint dysfunction.

Cashew also has magnesium which helps in the assimilation of the calcium in the bone.

4.Makes you happy

A little happiness is all we need. Don’t we?

Cashews consist of high quantities of L-tryptophan. This is an amino acid that is a carrier of the substance serotonin. Serotonin is widely known in the name of ‘’happiness hormones’’ and provides an increased sense of wellbeing and happiness.

5.Helps you relax

Getting that perfect relaxation is quite a struggle in these stressful times.

Lucky for you, cashew is here to save the day. The amino acid tryptophan happens to not only be a building block of serotonin but also an important element of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Magnesium in it helps in relaxing muscles and counteracts muscle cramps. So try incorporating cashews in your evening snack for a restful sleep.

Side effects of Cashews

While these nuts are filled with amazing benefits, 

1.Allergy to certain other nuts

Cashews are identified as tree nuts. This might stimulate an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to hazelnut, Brazil nut, pistachio, almond, peanut, citrus seeds, or pectin. So, it’s always a good idea to consult a health professional before trying your hands on these nuts.

2.Surgery

Cashews are known to affect blood sugar levels. So chances are that it might affect the blood sugar control during and after the surgery. Avoid consuming cashew for at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

3.High in oxalates

Cashews are rich in oxalates. This doesn’t affect healthy people in general. However, excessive consumption of oxalates can affect people with kidney problems or those at risk of developing kidney stones.

Are Cashews good for weight loss?

So should you consume cashew if you’re looking to lose those extra pounds?

The answer lies in finding the perfect balance. Cashew belongs to the phylum of nuts which aids in weight loss due to the presence of fewer calories.

Some research has shown that consumption of nuts for a longer time period aid in weight loss journeys.

Further, Cashews contain magnesium which helps in regulating the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, thereby aiding in weight loss. They are also a good source of protein and keep you full for a longer period of time. This helps in avoiding food cravings.

Make sure to pay attention to the forms of cashew you purchase. Roasted or salted cashews available in the market contain added levels of oils and salts, which ultimately makes them unhealthy and not preferable.

So consume a healthy moderate amount of cashew and you are good to go.

Wrapping up

Cashews are in fact good for weight loss when consumed in moderation. So, don’t shy away and give these wonderful nuts a try. Cashews are a healthy and versatile nut. They’re rich in protein, fibre, magnesium, iron and zinc which make them a great snack to have on hand for an afternoon pick up or even as a tasty addition to your favourite salad dressing! What’s more, is that they can also be used in many vegan recipes.

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