Nutrition & Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts. Are Cashews Good for You?
Cashew Nuts - where are cashews from?
Cashew nuts grow on tropical evergreen cashew trees and although they are referred to as nuts are actually cashew seeds or kernels that form as part of the cashew fruit (1, 2). Cashew fruit or apples also make a delicious juice that you can find in countries like Brazil where cashew trees grow (3.4). Cashews are found hanging off the cashew apples in a toxic shell that has to be removed to uncover the tasty nuts inside (5).
Cashew trees are originally from the forests in Brazil, where the tree is native as it grows in tropical climates (6). Cashew trees have since spread across the world as they have been exported into other tropical countries to be commercially cultivated (7). These countries have now also made the nutritious cashew nuts their own, calling them Kaju or Caju. Most cashew nuts that are cultivated for global nut consumption are now grown in West Africa and then exported to India and Vietnam for processing (8).
Cashews are never served raw but always heated to remove the toxins from their shell, even the raw cashew nuts you will see (5)! Often cashews are fried in oil or roasted to prepare them for consumption. Roasted cashews despite being more expensive to produce have the advantage that they do not have added oil and retain their natural flavours.
Cashew nuts are not only snacked on their own, but can also be processed to make other products such a cashew spreads, cashew butter, cashew milk, cashew yogurt, cashew ice cream and many amazing recipes. Cashews are therefore a versatile addition to your diet. Now to the question, are cashews good for you?
Nutritional Facts of Cashews
Cashews are rich in a range of nutrients, including plant-based protein, fibre and important minerals and vitamins. Below are the nutritional values for 100g of unroasted, unsalted cashews as per the USDA (9):
Nutritional Content of Cashews
|Typical value per||100 grams|
Great Source of Vegan Protein
These nuts are a great source of vegan protein and fibre that can form a part of a plant-based diet.
Health Benefits of Cashews
Cashew nuts are found to have a number of different health benefits. They are full of protein and fibre and known to reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness (10). This together with fewer calories than expected in as serving of cashews, means the nuts can be helpful as part of a balanced diet can have a positive effect on weight loss (11, 12. 13).
As a plant-powered source of protein roasted cashew nuts as are not just great for you but also for the planet, since you reduce your emission heavy meat consumption and eat cashews.
Cashew nuts are full of essential minerals and have a significant amount of copper with as little as 50 grams of nuts giving the recommended Daily Value (DV). Copper is a mineral the body uses to produce energy, encourage healthy brain functioning, and strengthen the immune system (14). They also contain large amounts of magnesium and manganese, both nutrients that contribute to bone health (15, 16). Cashews are are a also a good source of iron and zinc (17,18).
Daily Nutrient Values (%) of Cashew Nuts
|Percentage of Daily Value|
Like all nuts, cashew nuts are a high-fat food, but these are both mono- and poly- unsaturated fats that are known to be a healthy form of fat that helps boost heart health and reduce cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation (19). As noted above, they also fibre which can form part of a heart-healthy diet that is also free of meat products (20).
All these items together makes roasted cashew nuts an excellent part of your balanced and / or vegetarian or vegan diet.
KARU Hand Roasted Cashews
Need some brain food after going through all that information? Check out KARU's selection of hand roasted cashew nuts!
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Well actually, no cashew nuts are really raw they all have to be heat treated to remove the toxins that are found in the shell that covers them when they are on the tree.
Cashews are a good source of zinc and protein, two key ingredients to a stronger immune system.
The micronutrients in cashews like phosphorus and magnesium contribute to bone health and growth.
Born in Brazil. Hand roasted in the UK.
At KARU, we’re on a mission to turn snacking upside-down. Our nutritious and oh-so delicious cashew nuts bring flavour and goodness in equal measure. We have set out to create plant-based treats and snacks that taste amazing and are also better for you and the planet. Why should free-from snacks and treats have to compromise on taste?