Cashews: Handful (or two) a day keeps the doctor away

By: Bel Marra Health | Brain Function | Monday, May 18, 2015 - 08:52 AM

Cashews keep depression at bay Nuts are certainly having a moment! All the enthusiasm comes from an onslaught of studies over the past decade showing nuts are no longer just snacks for baseball games – nuts are bona fide health food. Their most salient effect is heart attack prevention, and some studies suggest they help protect against diabetes. The nut of the day here at Bel Marra Health is cashews.

Raw cashews, roasted cashews – cashews health benefits are numerous. But first, some cashew facts. Tasty, buttery cashews come from Brazil originally and then were planted in other countries with tropical climates. The commercial cashew nut actually comes from the cashew fruit or apple – it’s the seed inside the yellow or red pear-shaped fruit. Who knew?

About 90 percent of the world’s cashews today come from India, while the rest are supplied by Brazil and Mozambique.

Why are cashews good for you?

Cashews keep depression at bay When it comes to cashews nutrition, there are certain active ingredients that make cashews a great addition to your healthy diet. They contain key nutrients, including tryptophan, that help to stabilize the nervous system, and prevent anxiety and depression. In fact, two handfuls of cashews have the same therapeutic value as a dose of prescription antidepressant.

Cashews also have omega-3 fatty acids, essential fat for body functions, and magnesium, another key nutrient for maintaining your energy level, helping you relax, and sustaining the health of your heart and blood vessels.

Which make them a fantastic snack. Plus, like other nuts, they are high in protein and fiber, which delays absorption and decreases hunger.
Cashew chart

Cashews: Nutrition chart

Check out the nutrition facts and cashews calories – clearly, cashews are one nut not to be missed!

Cashews: Health benefits

Keep depression at bay. What you eat has a huge impact on your mental health. Two handfuls of cashews a day can be just as effective as a prescription drug for depression. That’s because they’re high in tryptophan. The body turns tryptophan into serotonin, a major contributor to feelings of good mood, sexual desire and healthy sleep. And cashews come without the addictive properties and dangerous side effects of prescription medication.

Cashews health benefits for mind and body

Boost energy and immunity.

Cashews are high in magnesium, which plays a role in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is key for energy, good muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm and a healthy immune system. It’s an all-star mineral we can’t do without.

Keep your teeth and bones strong.

Because magnesium is found mostly in our bones, a magnesium deficiency can be a negative when it comes to teeth and bone protection. In fact, National Institutes of Health says that a magnesium deficiency has been discovered among people with osteoporosis, the disease of bone loss and deterioration.

Blood sugar control: Cashews’ good fats and fiber helps slow the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream, so it’s easier to keep blood sugar at a healthy level, avoiding those dips and spikes.

Weight management. Cashews are calorie dense but their protein, good fats and fiber help satisfy hunger, making them an ideal, nutritious snack. You feel fuller longer and are less likely to over-snack on foods with empty calories. The act of chewing them can also give your body a signal that you’ve eaten and may leave you feeling more satisfied.

There are so many good reasons to fill your snack bowl with cashews. Cashews nutrition makes them a much better choice than candy from the office vending machine when the mid-afternoon craving strikes. Just mind your sodium and opt for the unsalted kind!

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