Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


The Case for Cashews

Two handfuls of cashews each day may keep depression at bay. A growing body of research has found that in lieu of taking a prescription drug, some people can turn to foods that are high in tryptophans, like cashews. Depressive episodes are often triggered when the body drops in serotonin and tryptophans can boost it again, but people tend to turn to nutrition as a last resort. One more natural source of tryptophan is cashews. “Several handfuls of cashews provide 1,000-2,000 milligrams of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants,” says Dr. Andrew Saul, a therapeutic nutritionist and editor-in-chief of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. The body turns tryptophan into serotonin, a major contributor to feelings of sexual desire, good mood, and healthy sleep.

The high levels of magnesium and vitamin B6 found in cashews may also help to stabilize mood. Approximately five ounces of cashews a day will provide a middle-aged man with his daily-required magnesium intake, a nutrient that, when low, can trigger mild depression. Vitamin B6 lends a hand to converting tryptophan into serotonin and helps magnesium enter into the body’s cells. It’s likely a trio of nutrients that help with depression. “You don’t want to think that one individual nutrient is the magic bullet,” says Saul.

By  Marykate Marley


         Cashews, raw

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 553 k cal (2,310 kJ)
Carbohydrates 30.19 g
Starch 0.74 g
Sugars 5.91 g
lactose  0.00 g
Dietary fiber 3.3 g
Fat 43.85 g
Saturated 7.783 g
Monounsaturated 23.797 g
Polyunsaturated 7.845 g
Protein 18.22 g


Vitamin A 0 IU
Thiamine (B1) (37%) 0.423 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (5%) 0.058 mg
Niacin (B3) (7%) 1.062 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (17%) 0.86 mg
Vitamin B6 (32%) 0.417 mg
Folate (B9) (6%) 25 μg
Vitamin B12 (0%) 0 μg
Vitamin C (1%) 0.5 mg
Vitamin D (0%) 0 μg
Vitamin E (6%) 0.90 mg
Vitamin K (32%) 34.1 μg


Calcium (4%) 37 mg
Iron (51%) 6.68 mg
Magnesium (82%) 292 mg
Manganese (79%) 1.66 mg
Phosphorus (85%) 593 mg
Potassium (14%) 660 mg
Sodium (1%) 12 mg
Zinc (61%) 5.78 mg

Other constituents

Water 5.20 g

Units    μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams   IU = International units       
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.                 
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

In a 100-gram serving, raw cashews provide 553 Calories, 67% of the Daily Value (DV) in total fats, 36% DV of protein, 13% DV of dietary fiber and 11% DV of carbohydrates (table).[15] Cashews are rich sources (> 19% DV) of dietary minerals, including particularly copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium (79-110% DV), and of thiamin, vitamin B6 and vitamin K (32-37% DV) (table).[15] Iron, potassium, zinc, and selenium are present in significant content (14-61% DV) (table).[15] Cashews (100 grams, raw) contain 113 mg of beta-sitosterol.[15]
source: wikipedia.org


Health Benefits of Cashews

Cashews are delicious and full of nutrients. A popular ingredient in vegan foods and Indian cuisine, cashews can be eaten raw, salted, added to salads or used to make rich, creamy sauces. Cashews are a staple nut, easy to find in stores and to add to all manner of foods. In addition to being versatile and tasty, they’re also chock-full of nutrients. Here are just a few health benefits of cashews:

Healthy Fats

Cashews are high in fat content, which is one of the reasons they are so important for vegans and vegetarians. These nuts aren’t composed of just any kind of fat, either—they’re rich in poly- and monounsaturated fats, major components of the Mediterranean diet that have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels and promote heart health.

Healthline notes that replacing saturated fats, such as those found in animal products, with poly- and monounsaturated fats can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s healthy fat that leads most researchers to believe that the Mediterranean lifestyle is the healthiest one for heart health.


A Cascade of Vitamins

Cashews are also very rich in vitamins. The vitamins K, E and B6 are particularly prevalent in cashews and are associated with many different positive health outcomes.

Vitamin K is most notable for its role in blood clotting regulation. It also supports a healthy skeletal system. A fat-soluble vitamin, it is stored in the body’s fat deposits in the liver and elsewhere.

Vitamin E, which is also fat-soluble, helps the body utilize vitamin K and is also a protective antioxidant. Antioxidants, which are associated with cancer and aging protection, bind to free radicals in the body, neutralizing their effects. This handy vitamin also plays a role in red blood cell production, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Finally, vitamin B6 is also prevalent in cashews. The B-group vitamins are extremely important for good health, as they assist in metabolism (converting glucose, fats and protein into energy that can be used by the body). Vitamin B6 is one member of this important group, which are also known for supporting healthy hair, skin and nails.

A Host of Minerals

If anything can outdo cashews’ impressive reserves of vitamins, it’s their mineral content. Cashews contain copper, iron, magnesium and selenium, all of which are important for a healthy body.

Copper is extremely prevalent in cashews. Copper, like vitamin K, is important for blood health. It works together with iron to form red blood cells, according to Healthline.

Magnesium is beneficial for skeletal health. It is part of a trifecta of minerals (magnesium, calcium and potassium) that work together to deliver nutrients to bones, keeping them strong as people age.

Selenium, meanwhile, functions as an antioxidant. The University of Maryland states that it works in conjunction with vitamin E—these two nutritional powerhouses have the ability to neutralize free radicals.

By: Maggie McCracken    June 17, 2016    Follow Maggie at @MaggieBlogs


4 Health Benefits of Cashews

Cashews have a sweet aroma and a delicious taste. They are delightfully crunchy yet have a buttery texture.

This explains why these crescent-shaped nuts are found in so many exotic cuisines around the world. They add flavor, texture and nutrition to stir-fries, salads and curries. Cashews have become the third most consumed nut in the world.

4 Health Benefits of Cashews

1. Helps as an Anti-diabetic
Cashew extract has been found to be effective as an anti-diabetic according to a study at the University of Montreal (Canada) and the Université de Yaoundé (Cameroun). Diabetes affects almost 220 million people in the world and has been found to provoke heart and kidney problems.

2. Nutrients in Cashews Assists Memory
Cashews are particularly high in the nutrient PS (Phosphatidylserine), which studies have shown to help with memory. In fact they have the highest amount of PS of any nut.

3. Good for Hearth Health
Cashes have a lower fat content than other nuts. Almost half of the fat in cashews is the heart-healthy kind which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Cashews are high in oleic acid which is the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health. Cashews are also cholesterol free.

Five large studies examined the relation between nut consumption (cashews included) and the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease). The results showed that nut consumption was associated with a positive reduction in CHD risk. Researchers say that this is strong scientific evidence that regular nut consumption is helpful for a healthy and balanced diet. In another study they found consuming nuts (included cashews) lessened the risk of cardiovascular disease in U.S. adults.


4. Cancer Chemoprevention With Nuts
There have been many studies highlighted in the Oxford Journals about nuts and cancer prevention. The researchers summarized by stating that an increase of nut consumption is associated with a lower cancer occurrence, and they suggest that nut consumption would be effective approach to prevent cancer.

See this chart showing the phytochemicals in certain nuts and how they help in preventing cancer.

Caution: Cashew Nut Allergy can be highly potent.
Allergic symptoms range from simple skin itching (hives) to potentially severe and even life-threatening (anaphylaxis). Other symptoms include breathing difficulty, pain abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea.

Cashew Nutrition
Cashews are lower in calories and in fat compared to most other nuts! They have more protein than most other nuts and much more phosphatidylserine, which is, as already mentioned, helpful for the memory. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, iron and rich in B vitamins.

Nutrient Cashew Database by USDA: 1/4 cup of cashews has approximately 196 calories, 5g of protein, 2mg Iron, 750mg copper (84% DV), 89mg

Don’t Be Scared of Weight Gain!

Surprisingly, it was found that adults who include nuts into their diets do not have to limit their consumption.  This is according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. There were 31 studies about people adding nuts to their diets by replacing other foods with nuts. These people lost an average of 1.4 pounds and reduced their waist sizes by more than half an inch. It was important that they replaced other foods and did not just add a lot more nuts.

Roasting cashews creates higher levels of nutrients than eating them raw.
The antioxidants in cashews are increased as the roasting temperature increased.
So let’s enjoy eating cashews!
Grab the occasional tasty handful or add them to your meals.

By: Diana Herrington       March 12, 2016       Follow Diana at @DancinginLife

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What Nuts Are High in Protein And Low in Saturated Fat

Feb 10, 2011 | By Catherine Cox 

Most nuts are a good source of protein and are low in saturated fat; the amounts vary among nuts. Though nuts are high in total fat, it comes from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The American Heart Association recommends replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats because they are healthier for your heart. Limit total fat to no more than 30 percent of daily calories and saturated fat to no more than 7 percent. On a 2,000-calorie diet, this would be 67 g total fat and 15 g saturated fat.

Nuts and Heart Health

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, regular intake of nuts – one ounce at least five times a week – may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Adding nuts to a diet that is low in saturated fat can lower total and LDL cholesterol levels and may decrease inflammation. Nuts are good sources of vitamin E and other antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. Most are also good sources of fiber, which helps improve cholesterol. Because nuts are high in calories, substitute them for other less healthy snacks to curtail weight gain.

Protein and Saturated Fat

Among the true nuts, almonds, pistachios and sunflower seeds have the highest amount of protein compared to saturated fat. Per 1-oz. serving, they each provide 6 g protein; almonds contain 1 g saturated and 15 g total fat, pistachios, 1.5 g saturated and 12.5 g total fat, sunflower seeds, 1.5 g saturated and 14 g total fat. Walnuts, hazelnuts and pine nuts each provide 4 g protein and 1.5 g saturated fat. The total fat content is 18 g for walnuts, 17.5 g for hazelnuts and 19.5 g for pine nuts. Cashews and Brazil nuts also have 4 g protein but with higher saturated fat contents. Cashews contain 2.5 g saturated and 13 g total fat while Brazil nuts have 4.5 g saturated and 19 g total fat. Pecans and macadamia nuts are lower in protein and have a total fat content that makes them higher in calories compared to other nuts. Pecans have 2.5 g protein, 2 g saturated and 21 g total fat, while macadamia nuts have only 2 g protein, 3.5 g saturated and 21.5 g total fat.


Walnuts stand out from other nuts because they are particularly high in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, or alpha linolenic acid. Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat that control blood clotting and help form cell membranes in the brain. ALA protects your heart by reducing plaque build-up and inflammation, lowering risk of heart attack and heart disease death and decreasing rhythm problems. Aim for at least 1.6 g ALA daily if you are a man and 1.1 g ALA if you are a woman. Just one tablespoon of walnuts contains 2.6 g ALA, according to the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Other nuts are not significant sources of ALA.

Soy Nuts and Peanuts

Soy nuts and peanuts are technically legumes but they have nutrient profiles and health benefits that are similar to those of nuts. Soy nuts are even higher in protein and lower in fat and calories. A 1-oz. serving provides 11 g protein, less than 1 g saturated and 6 g total fat. The protein is a higher quality protein, compared to tree nuts, based on its amino acid profile. Also, soy nuts contain 0.6 g ALA in ¼ cup. Peanuts provide 6.5 g protein, 2 g saturated and 14 g total fat per ounce.


Article reviewed by Billie Jo Jannen Last updated on: Feb 10, 2011 

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7 health benefits of raw organic cashews

1. Cancer Prevention
Cashews are ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing. Studies have also shown that cashews can reduce your colon cancer risk. Their high copper content also endows the seed with the power to eliminate free radicals and they are also good sources of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect us from heart disease and cancer.

2. Heart Health
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health by helping to reduce triglyceride levels, high levels of which are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Cashews are wonderfully cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. The magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

3. Hair and Skin Health
Cashews are rich in the mineral copper. An essential component of many enzymes, copper plays its part in a broad array of processes. One copper-containing enzyme, tyrosinase, converts tyrosine to melanin, which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color. Without the copper cashews are so abundant in, these enzymes would not be able to do their jobs.

4. Bone Health
Cashews are particularly rich in magnesium. It’s a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is as well. Most of the magnesium in the human body is in our bones. Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as it needs. Copper found in cashews is vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elastin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints.

5. Good for the Nerves
By preventing calcium from rushing into nerve cells and activating them, magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed and thereby our blood vessels and muscles too. Too little magnesium means too much calcium can gain entrance to the nerve cell, causing it to send too many messages, and leading to too much contraction.

Insufficient magnesium leads to higher blood pressure, muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness and fatigue. Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

6. Prevent Gallstones
Data collected on 80,718 women from the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrates that women who eat at least an ounce of nuts each week, such as cashews, have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.

7. Weight Loss
 People who eat nuts twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who rarely eat nuts. Cashew nuts are indeed relatively high in fat, but it is considered “good fat.” This is attributable to the ideal fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively, which is recommended by scientists for tip-top health. Cashew nuts contain less fat than most other popular nuts, including peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts. They are dense in energy and high in dietary fiber, making them a very valuable snack for managing weight gain.

source: facebook.com/homesteading