Native to Brazil, cashew nuts come from the fruit of a cashew tree. Commonly called cashew nuts, they are actually the kidney-shaped seeds found on the bottom of the cashew apple. In Brazil and the Caribbean, natives widely regard cashews as a delicacy. Knowing the health benefits of cashews and other tree nuts, these nutty treats should become a part of your daily diet.
1- Cashews and Heart Health
The health experts at The Mayo Clinic recommend adding cashews and other tree nuts to your diet for a healthy heart. Cashews are full of unsaturated fats, considered the “healthy fat” by nutrition experts. Unsaturated fats help naturally lower LDL cholesterol levels, helping prevent heart disease. Cashews also contain fiber and plant sterols which also help lower bad cholesterol levels.
Lower cholesterol is not the only heart benefit for tree nut. Cashews and other tree nuts contain:
- Vitamin E: believed to help reduce plaque build-up in arteries.. Blocked arteries increase your risk of a heart attach exponentially.
- L-argentine: which helps improve the health of artery walls
2- Cashews Keep You Moving
According to the George Matlejan Foundation for Healthy Living, cashews do a body good. The calcium found in milk is not the only nutrient necessary for healthy bones. Magnesium contributes to bone health and over 60 percent of your body’s magnesium supply is stored in the bones. Magnesium helps block calcium in nerve cells, contributing to nerve and muscle tone. In addition to healthy bones, nerves and muscles, magnesium helps:
- Lower blood pressure
- Make migraine attacks less frequent for chronic suffers
- Regulate sleep patterns in menopausal women
- Reduce the severity of asthma attacks
- Prevent heart attacks
3-Reduce Your Risk of Gallstones
Studies show that women who regularly consumed 1 ounce of nuts on a weekly basis had a significantly lower risk of developing gallstones. It is believed that eating cashews and other tree nuts reduce your risk by as much as 25 percent.
4- Experience the Benefits of Copper
Cashews and other tree nuts are rich in copper, a mineral important to your overall health, according to the George Matlejan Foundation. Copper’s health benefits include:
- Keeping you flexible. Copper helps improve the flexibility in bones, joints and blood vessels through the production of lysyl oxidase.
- Reduces the risk of colon cancer. Risk factors for colon cancer include increased fecal free radical production and fecal water alkaline phosphatase activity. Both factors are linked to a low intake of dietary copper.
A low intake of dietary copper can also put you at risk for other conditions including:
- Ruptured blood vessels
- Irregular heart beat
- Rheumatoid arthritis
5- Lower Risk of Obesity
Despite a high caloric intake, obesity risks do not increase when making nuts a regular part of your diet. Eating tree nuts on a weekly basis has been shown to reduce the risk of weight gain. Use serving guidelines to help you eat cashews in moderation.
Add Cashews To Your Diet
The American Heart Association recommends adding 4 servings of unsalted, unoiled nuts to your weekly diet. Keep in mind nuts are high in calories, so pay attention to serving sizes. Snack on a few cashews or add cashew butter to celery, sandwiches and bagels. Chop nuts fine and add them to steamed veggies, salads and other entrees.
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