Even without general recognition, cashew nuts are the natural fruit of the cashew tree. Known as “Brazilian delight,” it can be consumed as a snack or added to some sweet and savoury recipes.
In addition to its popularity in Brazilian cuisine, this oilseed has properties that promote the health of its consumers. That’s what nutritionist Luis Braz says.
“Maintaining an adequate and frequent consumption of cashew nuts can guarantee health benefits such as improvement of the immune system, prevention against cardiovascular diseases and premature cellular aging,” says the professional.
In addition, Braz explains that it can contribute to the diet of those who want to lose weight. This is because the cashew fruit exerts reasonable control over anxiety and satiety.
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Cashew Nut Benefits
Because it contains good fats, this oil improves cognitive ability. At the same time, it is an antioxidant capable of protecting cells, the heart and the body as a whole.
1. Strengthens the immune system
Cashew nuts are rich in B-complex vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and copper. This, in itself, increases the body’s defences.
However, immune system functions are compromised when the patient lacks zinc and copper. As a result, the body can suffer from different types of infections.
However, when consuming this oil daily, the adequate intake of minerals maintains the integrity of the immune system and increases the production of antibodies.
Consequently, the body’s defence responses start to fight pathogens, organisms responsible for causing diseases in a host.
2. Prevents cardiovascular disease
This Brazilian delight “mainly helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and helps to raise good cholesterol (HDL), which we need to be high for cleaning and removing fatty plaque from the arteries,” explains the nutritionist.
These effects were tested and proven in a study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2018. According to the survey, the oilseed not only increased HDL but also managed to reduce blood pressure.
This combination of benefits is perfect for preventing heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, stroke and atherosclerosis.
3. Prevents cell aging
As stated by Braz, cashew nuts delay the premature aging of cells. This is due to the antioxidant power that this food has.
In practice, the fruit of the cashew tree can prevent the development of molecules called free radicals. To some extent, these substances are considered harmless, but they can cause cell death in excess.
For this reason, radicals can be responsible for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and premature skin aging. Fighting these molecules, antioxidant foods like this nut also combat problems like those mentioned above.
4. Stimulates the brain
The nutritionist also explains that the chestnut can improve the cognitive capacity of its most loyal consumers. And this benefit is also related to the antioxidant effect.
Free radicals can also damage brain cells, thus proving functional or sensory loss. This process results in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
As stated in the previous topic, one of the ways to fight oxidative molecules is by using antioxidant foods, such as this oilseed.
5. Promotes satiety
Because it contains fibre, the chestnut helps control hunger, aiding in weight loss. However, if consumed in excess, it can cause weight gain.
“The cashew nut alone does not have a slimming function; however, whether for weight loss or weight gain, the nut can and should be inserted, considering that it has excellent sources of fat and this nutrient must exist in our diet,” explains the nutritionist.
Therefore, what will determine the gain or loss of body fat will be the amount ingested. This will be best defined with the support of a nutrition professional.
6. Supplements of food
In addition to vitamins and minerals, cashew fruit has a lot of energy and protein.
For this reason, it becomes an essential ally in the nutrition of pregnant women, nursing mothers, sick people, children and, of course, people adept at vegetarianism and veganism.
7. Improves bodybuilding performance
Luiz Braz says weight training can generate wear and tear at the cellular level depending on the exercise intensity. But as the oilseed prevents the oxidative stress of cells, it becomes an excellent food to compose the diet.
But it’s not just that! “The cashew nut for athletes, specifically bodybuilders, plays an important role in muscle recovery, as it has anti-inflammatory properties,” he adds.
To achieve all these benefits, the chestnut must be roasted and unsalted. This is usually the most common way to consume the oilseed.
However, there are numerous recipes with this natural product, such as flour, paste, cake and even milk. Check out how these dishes are prepared!
Cashew nut flour
You only need a cup of nuts and a food processor to make this flour. Crush the fruit until it turns into crumbs, and that’s it! In this version, it can be used in recipes replacing traditional flours.
You can also use a blender, but you’ll need more patience to blend everything until it’s crumbly. Store the flour in a covered glass pot at room temperature.
How about making milk with the chestnuts and enjoying the residues left over from this recipe? The Recunto Vegetariano channel teaches everything and also gives other tips! Check out:
- 1 cup (of tea) of raw cashew nuts (about 100g)
- Three cups (of tea) of filtered water (about 720 ml or more if preferred).
Preparing the paste is the same as the flour, but a little longer. Put a cup of hot nuts in the food processor and beat until it becomes crumbly.
Then, stir the contents with a spatula, removing the powder that sticks to the appliance’s walls. Whisk again, and after some time, repeat the stirring process. Keep doing these steps until the flour becomes creamy, and enjoy your cashew nut paste!
This recipe is a tip from Tudo Gostoso. Below, you can check the list of ingredients, and the video is about how to prepare!
- ½ cup (of tea) of olive oil
- Two eggs
- 1 cup (of tea) of brown sugar
- 2 cups (of tea) of wheat flour
- 1 cup (of tea) of whole wheat flour
- One tablespoon of baking powder
- ½ cup (of tea) of rolled oats
- ½ cup (of tea) of cashew nuts
- One cup (of tea) of semi-skimmed milk.
Questions about the cashew fruit
After all this information and tips on what to do with cashew nuts, are there still any doubts about the oilseed? So, check out the top five questions about this natural product!
1. How many calories does this oilseed have?
“In 100 grams of roasted cashew nuts, we have the following caloric value: approximately 570 Kcal”, confirms nutritionist Luiz Braz.
2. How many cashew nuts can I eat a day?
According to the professional, the amount that should be ingested daily is very relative. This is because it will be defined depending on the objective of each patient, whether it is gain, loss or maintenance of body weight. However, one thing is sure: daily consumption is safe and recommended.
“From a qualitative point of view, what I professionally recommend is around ten units (for people in weight control) and something around a cup of nuts (for people with weight gain). However, this is not a rule; it is general information and will depend mainly on each person’s body composition”, adds Braz.
3. Can you eat it raw?
According to the nutritionist, consuming this natural product is unsafe. “In this condition, the oil in it is extremely acidic and can cause serious injuries and health problems,” he warns.
4. Where to buy?
Open markets, supermarkets, natural food stores (online or physical), and pharmacies. These are some of the places where nuts can be found easily.
5. Is it wrong to eat cashew nuts?
Cashew nuts can be harmful in two situations: when consumed by allergy sufferers or when it is marketed in a contaminated way.
“These foods, depending on their origin (origin, storage, handling), can suffer from the proliferation of fungi, generating mycotoxins that can cause serious damage to health. Even in cases of allergic manifestation, they cause anaphylactic shock, which can lead to death. My advice is to always look for this food from reliable and safe sources from a hygienic-sanitary point of view”, he concludes.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.