Cashews have beneficial properties for the heart and cholesterol. Let’s see the benefits, the calories, and the recipes to use in the kitchen. Not many know that the properties of cashews are precious in fighting or preventing ailments and diseases. These crunchy, light-colored, salty-flavored nuts with a hint of sweet and sour, originally from Brazil, are often considered high in fat and unhealthy. Quite the opposite.
It has been repeatedly shown that cashews (unsalted) contain good percentages of Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids, essential for a perfect balance between cholesterol and the health of the cardiovascular system; they are also rich in antioxidants and minerals that support our body in its normal vital functions, both inside and, as we will soon discover, also outside. Although it is a high-calorie food (100 grams of cashews contain 598 calories ), we can find the benefits of cashews by consuming small quantities every day.
These fruits are recommended during slimming diets thanks to their properties and taste that pleasantly satisfy the palate. Despite the calories of cashews, this type of dried fruit can be added to your diet even when you follow a low-calorie diet and therefore want to lose weight. Thanks to the fatty acids, the metabolism is strongly stimulated and therefore burns more calories. We can enjoy them as a snack between meals or prepare tasty recipes with cashews; what matters is not to exceed the recommended daily dose, which is 20 gr (about 10-15 cashews), and prefer natural cashews.
Cashews: Properties And Benefits
The properties of cashews are numerous. We often consider cashews a more or less healthy food even if we do not know their natural characteristics. Contrary to what one might think, cashews are cholesterol-free and rich in Omega 9 (23.5 g per 100 g of product). They still contain significant potassium (565 mg), phosphorus (490 mg), amino acids, and antioxidants. But let’s find out more closely what are the benefits of cashews.
They Protect The Eyes
We were wrong if we thought that carrots were the food of choice for protecting the eyes and safeguarding sight. Cashews also contain substances called carotenoids, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin. These elements usually present in fruit and vegetables constitute a natural protective shield for the eyes: the carotenoids prevent sunlight from damaging them, keeping the lens and the retina in perfect condition and allowing a clear and sharp vision. Another property of cashews is to prevent the development of cataracts and macular degeneration (both of which lead to a noticeable reduction in vision or even blindness).
They Prevent Diabetes
Despite the calories of cashews, this type of dried fruit seems to prevent the onset of diabetes, primarily type 2 diabetes. How? The content of monounsaturated fatty acids (for example, oleic acid belonging to Omega 9) has the function of keeping blood sugar levels under control, as well as insulin values. Recent studies have also confirmed that the oil in cashews can increase and improve the absorption of sugars by the muscles, producing energy without the need to introduce additional calories into the body.
So Many Benefits For The Heart
We have seen that cashews have Omega 9 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids (such as linoleic acid, with 7.7 g per 100 g of fruit). Therefore, it is easy to understand how these fatty acids manage to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), preventing it from settling in the arteries. This naturally results in a lower risk of heart disease (heart attack, stroke) and prevents plaque deposits in the arteries. The properties of cashews that affect the cardiovascular system also derive from potassium (which regulates blood pressure) and arginine. This amino acid protects and strengthens the walls of the arteries.
Strong And Shiny Hair
The benefits of cashews affect the internal state of our body and are also visible on the outside. We are talking about hair. Containing copper, cashews stimulate the production of melanin, on which hair color depends, and at the same time strengthen the scalp. Among the properties of cashews is that of giving a shiny appearance to the hair by the presence of fatty acids and glutamine, an amino acid that promotes the secretion of growth hormone: in this way, there is a continuous growth of the hair and Conditions such as baldness and hair loss, in general, are prevented.
They Prevent The Formation Of Gallstones
Gallstones result from the formation of small pebbles of cholesterol that often lodge themselves in the bile ducts or the gallbladder. It is good to know that our body can produce cholesterol, which happens precisely in the liver and the organs and structures. Cholesterol, at normal levels, is valid for cell reconstruction; when it exceeds certain limits, it can give rise to disorders such as gallstones. Consuming cashews can prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the liver and, consequently, in the blood.
They Improve Brain Function
The properties of cashews also play a fundamental role in brain functioning. The compounds of which these fruits are made, and we refer mainly to fatty acids, glutamine, and phosphorus, make numerous cognitive processes possible: they stimulate brain cells, favor synaptic connections (i.e., communication between brain cells and the rest of the body), they can prevent the development of depression, anxiety, and keep the level of concentration high and the level of mental stress low.
2 Simple And Fast Cashew Recipes
After seeing the properties of cashews, let’s find out how to eat them! It is possible to use cashews to add a crunchy touch to our green salads or enrich the sauces with which to season pasta dishes or, why not, croutons. But that is not all. Cashews can also be used to prepare an alternative pesto, instead of the classic pine nuts, to extract delicious vegetable milk, or even to prepare vegan “cheeses.” We propose below a couple of recipes with cashews that we are sure will tickle your imagination and more!
The first of the recipes with cashews that we recommend is preparing a vegan “cheese” without using cow’s milk. Let’s get 200 grams of raw cashews (not salted or toasted) and 70 ml of water. Let the cashews rest in the water for up to 8 hours, then blend them with the same water and pour the mixture into a container. Finally, let it rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
A cashew mayonnaise? Of course, to be enjoyed in any dish! To prepare this sweet sauce, we need 100 grams of cashews, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of lemon juice, mixed olive oil, 60 ml of water, and salt. As for the cashew cheese, we soak the cashews (for 3 hours). Blend them with their water and the rest of the ingredients except for the oil. When we get a thick cream, we add the oil and continue to whisk. We, therefore, keep the cashew mayonnaise in the refrigerator and consume it within two weeks.