Benefits & Side Effects Of Cashew Nuts (Kaju)

Do cashews (kaju) make you put on weight? Rich in fiber and loaded with iron, moderate consumption of cashews is, in fact, linked with aiding weight loss by quickly burning fat, and increasing the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Read all the benefits and side effects of cashew nuts in this article.

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Considered to be one of the most popular dry-fruits, the cashew nut is widely consumed in all corners of this world. Originating in Central America, the cashew first became a part of the European export products by the Portuguese colonists in the mid- 16th century. But, now most Asian countries, including India and Vietnam, have made their mark on the list of major cashew producers. There is no doubt that the beneficial nature of cashews has contributed to its rise in demand. Though a high-calorie dry-fruit, cashews when consumed in controlled amounts can provide a host of nutrients to the body. Cashews not only form a part of several desserts and decadent sweets in the Indian culture, but several curries also use cashew paste as a base. Sometimes, these off-white, c-shaped dry fruits get a bad name and people associate them with weight gain and fat accumulation. While excessive consumption of cashew nuts can lead to unnecessary calorie-intake, the fact remains that we stand to gain more than lose from cashew nut nutrition. First, let us look at all the health benefits that cashews bring with them.

Watch: Cashew Nut Benefits | Benefits Of Kaju

Health Benefits Of Cashew

Cashew or Kaju is a dry-fruit that you may very easily find tucked inside some cabinet of your kitchen. But, most importantly, cashew has become an important part of our culture, as it is distributed during the festive season for the purpose of gifting.

Did you know that besides being a part of our tradition, if cashew becomes a part of our diet, it can be benefiting for our health as well as our brain? Well, if you are wondering about the spectacular wonders that cashew (kaju) can work on your health, look no further because here they are:

1. Improves Digestion

Cashew is a snack that is low in sugar and filled with minerals such as iron and magnesium, making it a small package with a big surprise. One of the many advantages of eating cashews is its ability to aid digestion. Packed with omega-3s, cashew is responsible for boosting our body’s metabolism, increasing the rate of absorption and quickly burning fat.

Also Read: Super Foods To Reduce Belly Fat | Best Diet To Shed Tummy Flab

2. Good For Heart

If you are thinking of adding cashews to your daily diet, then you’ll be pleased to know that cashew contains zero cholesterol. Thus, the consumption of cashew is proven to be good for the health of your heart as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

health benefits of cashew
With absolutely nil percentage of cholesterol content, the consumption of cashews can prove to be quite beneficial from the heart’s health

3. Prevention of Diabetes

The nutrient content in cashew, which consists of a very few milligrams of natural sugar and no bad cholesterol, makes it a very good choice for people who are suffering from pre-diabetes (A stage where the blood sugar level is high but not as high as in diabetes).

Benefits of Cashews Infographic: Mishry Reviews

Also Read: Diabetes Diet: What To Eat To Manage Blood Sugar And Keep Diabetes In Control

4. Rich In Antioxidants

The antioxidant-rich cashew nuts can be quite beneficial when ingested. These antioxidants help in the formation of a protective layer over the cell walls due to which our immunity is increased, as they make it harder for the external pathogens to enter the cell walls, and also protecting it from free radical damage.

5. Increases the RBC (Red Blood Cell) Concentration

As we know, our blood contains various cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Out of these, the red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to all the organs. Cashew, being a good source of iron, helps in the formation of these cells and prevents your body from iron deficiency which might cause diseases like anemia.

6. Aids in Muscle Growth

As cashew is a rich source of protein, it is also responsible for aiding muscle growth and providing strength to our nervous system. Protein is said to be the building block of every cell in our body and provides the energy required for daily chores.

Also Read: Top 6 Benefits Of A Protein-Rich Diet

7. Reduces Blood Pressure

Since cashew is loaded with minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, it balances the effects of salt in our bloodstream. Excessive salt intake makes it difficult for the excess water present in the cell walls to get discharged, which causes the blood pressure to rise. However, the consumption of minerals works as an antidote to the effects of salt, thus allowing the excess water to easily pass through our bladder.

Also Read: Remarkable Benefits Of Raisins

8. Improves Bone Health

The building block of our bones is calcium, and as it happens, cashew is also considered to be a great source of calcium. During the removal of excess water from our system, some of the calcium from our bones is also removed, but it is later replaced. However, if the amount of calcium removed is more than the amount of calcium replaced, we would end up with weak bones. Since cashew is a great source of calcium, it helps in maintaining bone density.

9. Promotes Oral Health

The high calcium content present in cashew, apart from being good for our bones, is also responsible for achieving a healthy set of teeth. When it comes to dry-fruits, cashew does not shy away from one of the most beneficial ones, and if I might add, it is the tastiest among all.

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Side-Effects Of Cashew

Cashew nuts are consumed in large quantities all across this world. Thus, it is also important to note if there are any adverse effects of eating large quantities of cashew. Some of these ill-effects caused by the unregulated consumption of cashew nuts are:

1. Disruption Of A Balanced Diet

As we have discussed, cashews are high in protein, but consuming too much of it would result in a high protein and mineral diet, which may be harmful especially without the intake of other vital nutrients. Thus, it is important for us to keep our consumption of cashews regulated, and in tandem with other nutrients to maintain an overall healthy and balanced diet.

health benefits of cashews
Since cashews are quite high on protein and minerals, heavy consumption can lead to a disruption in a balanced diet, as the body won’t be able to meet the daily requirement for other nutrients.

2. Aids In Weight Gain

Though cashews have quite a low concentration of sugar, it is the calorie content that one should worry about, as it is quite high. Apart from being high in calories, cashews are also filled with unsaturated fat, increasing the risk of weight gain.

Also Read: 10 Best Benefits Of Almonds; From Weight Loss To Improved Bone Health And More

3. Increases The Risk Of Kidney Stones

Cashew, being rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium, must be taken in a very mindful quantity as a high mineral diet can form residue over your kidneys, as most of these minerals might not get absorbed and might further result in the development of stones in your kidneys.

4. Allergy Symptoms

Being allergic to cashew is quite common across the globe. Chances are that if you are allergic to nuts, you are also probably allergic to cashews. So, it is advised that you check with your physician before grabbing a handful of cashews, as it might lead to other troubling effects such as difficulty in swallowing or breathing. 

Creative Cashew Based Recipes

There is no doubt that cashew is the tastiest dry-fruit among the rest, however, if you are looking for a place where you could find a better way to make your meal crazy delicious and healthy using this dry-fruit, you have come to the right place. Here are some phenomenal dishes based on cashews:

1. Cookies Based On Cashews

Cashews make a great base ingredient for baked goodies such as cookies and cakes. However, the recent trend in the market has shown a significant increase in the demand of cashew-based cookies, it is important to note that too much of it could increase your blood sugar level as the cookie batter may contain sugar.

2. Used In Sweets

Decorated with a thin layer of edible silver foil, Kaju barfi is one of the most popular Indian desserts that use cashew nuts as its base ingredient alongside milk. It is made by soaking the cashew nuts in water overnight and then grinding them the next morning before mixing with thick milk, sugar, saffron, and other ingredients.

3. Cooked As A Vegetable

Cashew nuts are also sometimes, especially in some specific regions, cooked and eaten as a part of curries, one such example of a cashew nuts based recipe is a Punjabi cuisine called Kaju Butter Masala.

Including cashew (kaju) in your diet is quite easy to do, in fact, that is what adds up to the popularity of the cashew nut.

What’s The Deal With Cashew?

Finally, if you choose to eat cashews or even add them to your meal, you can never go wrong. In fact, the only thing cashew can do for you when you add it to your dish is to increase your meal’s nutritional value. However, as you are now probably aware of the ill-effects caused by an unorganized consumption of cashew, we trust that you will eat it responsibly. 

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