5 fabulous health benefits of cashews
We’re big fans of creamy, crunchy cashews at GMB, and apart from tasting awesome, they also happen to be great for our health. Our Nutritionist and Health Editor Melissa Fine takes a look at what these babies have to offer.
1. Vitamin E
Vitamin E doubles as a powerful antioxidant, helping to neutralise free radicals from causing damage to our cells. In a nutshell, free radicals are unstable molecules produced naturally in our bodies as a byproduct of metabolism; they’re also present in the environment (think pollution and pesticides) and can cause oxidation, or cellular damage.
Just 1-2 handfuls of cashews (about 18) gives you close to 5g of blood sugar stabilising protein, and so are a great snack when you need something to keep you going between main meals. We’ve also been snacking on Naturally Nood’s Cashew Crush Bar at GMB HQ for a nice balance of protein, healthy fats and carbs.
3. Magnesium and Zinc
Cashews boast a range of minerals essential for good health, being especially rich in magnesium and zinc. Not just a muscle relaxant, magnesium is involved in more than 350 of the body’s chemical reactions, from energy synthesis and protein synthesis, to vitamin D activation and the formation of hard tooth enamel that resists decay.
And just one reason why we love zinc: it has an important structural role in the body, necessary for growth and development, as well as the growth and integrity of our hair, skin and nails.
4. Good Fats
Cashews are particularly high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and also contain some polyunsaturated fats, both of which have cholesterol lowering effects, and the potential to reduce LDL cholesterol – the kind we don’t want.
The high fat content also means you’ll absorb the cashews’ vitamin E content nicely, as vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin (meaning it requires fat for absorption).
5. Flavour, baby!
Cashews are straight-up proof that wholefoods do not have to be bland and boring:
Throw a handful into the blender along with your other go-to smoothie ingredients for an extra creamy result.
Dry roast some cashews in the pan or oven and add them to an Asian slaw or your favourite stir-fry.
Add unroasted cashews to a homemade trail mix; works well with raw almonds, goji berries and pepitas…oh and cacao nibs for a choccie hit!
Munch on a Naturally Nood Cashew Crush Bar; unlike some snack bars which are close to 100% fruit, this baby contains equal parts cashews and dates (that’s it!), the perfect chewy combo of sweet and savoury, sans the nasties of that choccie bar from the vending machine.
What's your favourite way to enjoy cashews?