Health benefits of eating cashew nuts


By Benprince Ezeh

CASHEW nuts are native to Brazil, where they have long been viewed as a delicacy. More recently, cashew nuts have become popular throughout the world for their delicate flavour and extraordinary health benefits. Manufacturers always sell cashews in their shelled state, as part of the shell contains a resin that is not safe for consumption.

However, it is possible to purchase raw cashews, roasted cashews, or cashews that have been seasoned with various flavourings. This means you can use them as snack or added to salads, smoothies, stir-fries and other meals. With each serving of cashews, you harness incredible health benefits that set them apart from other nuts.

“Not all fats are bad for you, and some types of fat can actually help your heart health. Cashews contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, including oleic and palmitoleic. These are essential fatty acids that have been associated with lower levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol,” said Dr. Emmanuel Enang.

According to him, the consumption of monounsaturated fats in cashews is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Cashews provide nearly 100 percent of your recommended daily copper intake. Copper is a trace mineral that we get in very small amounts, mostly from animal sources such as crab, mussels, liver, and oysters. The presence of copper is required for a variety of physiological reactions in the body, including reactions needed for energy production, the metabolism of iron, and neurotransmission.

“Failure to get enough copper has been associated with poor immune system functioning; higher risk of cardiovascular disease; increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s; and impaired bone health,” he said.

Judith Nnaji, a nutritionist said that like all nuts, cashews provide an excellent source of protein. “Protein is one of three macronutrients your body uses for energy, and it is particularly important for rebuilding muscle tissue and creating new cellular compounds. Plus, eating protein prevents you from getting hungry between meals, which can help you stick to a healthy eating plan.

“Although many nuts are good sources of protein, cashews stand apart from the pack because of their particularly well-balanced nutritional profile. Each ounce of cashews (about 16 to 18 nuts) contains 160 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat (most of it heart-healthy monounsaturated fats), it makes them less calorie-dense than other nuts such as macadamia nuts, that contain 200 calories but only 2 grams of protein per ounce. Thus, eating cashews is an excellent snack choice for people following a low-calorie or high-protein diet,” Nnaji said.

Naomi Okolo, another nutritionist and beautician explained that cashew is good for the health of the skin and hair. “Cashew nuts are high in antioxidants, copper, magnesium, iron and selenium.

“Copper improves the production of elastin and collagen. Collagen is an integral structural protein that is responsible for the elasticity of your skin and hair. Including collagen-boosting foods such as cashews in your daily diet can help keep your skin glowing and hair healthy,” she said.

– Oct. 24, 2020 @ 11:48 GMT |

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