Cashew nuts or simple cashews also known as Kaju are the seeds of the evergreen cashew tree, Anacardium occidentale which is native to America. Cashew nut is everyone’s favorite, be it in the dry fruit tray as roasted cashews or savory foods. The Health benefits of cashew nuts have made them the snack of choice for all.
Cashews are kidney-shaped nuts eaten on their own or made into cashew butter or cashew milk.
You might be wondering if cashews are good for you. Spare a few minutes to explore the nutritional content and the health benefits of Kaju.
What is the price of Kaju/cashew nuts in Pakistan?
Cashews are available all over Pakistan online, in grocery stores, and in dry fruit stores. Kaju price in Pakistan is between 3000-3500 PKR/kg. However, the price of roasted Kaju is slightly higher.
Nutritional value of Cashews
Cashew nuts enclose abundant nutrition inside. The nutritional facts state that cashews/Kaju contains;
Portion size: 100 g
|Nutrients||Per 100 g|
Calories in cashew nuts
Cashews are higher in calories as a large portion of dry fruits contain fats. 100 g of these nuts contain about 553 calories.
Health benefits of cashew nuts
Dry fruits like kaju nuts are considered powerhouses of energy. Cashew benefits make them an essential snack in your diet. Some of the amazing health benefits of cashews or Kaju are discussed here;
1. Which nut is best for heart disease prevention?
Studies show that consuming nuts frequently reduces the risk of heart disease in people by 37% as compared to those who seldom consume them.
They are known to be beneficial for the heart due to the presence of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The triglyceride levels in the blood as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure all are improved by adding Kaju to your diet. This benefit of cashew nut helps in preventing stroke and other heart diseases.
Cashews are rich in magnesium which is significantly important in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, particularly ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.
2. Can you eat Cashews with diabetes?
Cashews are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats. This makes them a healthy munch for diabetics.
Cashew nuts have a GI or glycemic index of 22 (GI <55 is considered safe for diabetes). Kaju contains a fairly rich amount of fibers which are digested slowly and hence, prevent the blood sugar spike that occurs immediately after eating. This makes them safe and effective for patients with diabetes type 2.
Taking 10% of the daily calories from cashew nuts reduces the insulin levels (that regulate the blood sugar levels) in patients with diabetes mellitus. Additionally, Kaju is low in sugar content as well which further makes it safe for diabetics.
3. Do Kaju/Cashew nuts increase weight?
The addition of cashew nuts to your diet helps to manage body weight and does not cause obesity as is often misinterpreted from the number of calories in them.
The high fiber content of cashew nuts makes you feel full thus, cutting down your heavy meal consumption.
Roasted cashews have higher calories as compared to raw nuts so consuming raw unroasted cashews is more beneficial for weight management.
Read to learn which fruits help in weight loss.
The magnesium present in cashews aids in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates making it a favorable dry fruit for weight management.
4. Do Cashew help the Immune system?
Cashew benefits include boosting the immune system functioning of the body. Cashews are enriched with zinc and other essential vitamins like vitamin C. The presence of these vital nutrients is associated with the immune system-boosting properties of cashew nuts.
They are known to aid in healing infections and strengthen the body against microbial infections. The copper and iron present in cashews promotes the synthesis of red blood cells and also benefit the immune system in fighting against infections as the antibodies which are the key component of the immune system are composed entirely of proteins.
Proteins present in cashews also aid in repairing body tissues and help fight against bacterial and viral infections. The antioxidants present in cashews like lutein and zeaxanthin all contribute to the immune-boosting properties of cashews
5. Do Cashew nuts benefit females?
According to the American Heart Association, a serving of nuts each day can be a replacement for red meat. Cashew nuts are known to boost fertility in females due to the presence of zinc in them.
Cashews are rich in Vitamin K which is essential for maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis, especially in females. They are also rich in folate and folic acid which helps in red blood cell production, which is exceptionally beneficial in pregnancy.
Also read: Benefits of cashews in females
When consumed in moderation, cashews are safe in pregnancy as they boost digestive health and prevent tree nut allergies in children.
Cashew nuts are abundantly rich in nutrients. When consumed in moderate amounts, they help replenish the minerals lost during pregnancy.
Consult a gynecologist for safe advice on Kaju benefits in females.
6. Do Cashew nuts benefit males?
Cashew nuts have an immense amount of proteins that are important for strengthening the muscles. They are among the most energy-boosting foods which benefit men during sexual intercourse.
Zinc present in Kaju is known to increase fertility by boosting sperm count and motility.
Cashews are also known to reduce the risks of developing prostate cancer and its mortality rates in men.
Consult an andrologist for more male infertility-related issues.
7. Cashew nuts prevent blood disorders
Cashew nut benefits are associated with being rich in copper and other antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body and prevent many blood infections.
Iron, folate, and copper also play a role in the production of red blood cells which is essential to reduce the risk of blood deficiency disorders like anemia.
The antioxidant properties of these help in the prevention of inflammations and associated infections.
8. Are cashews good for the eyes?
Lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants are naturally present in the eyes and are known to impart protective effects against UV radiation.
The antioxidants are richly present in cashew nuts as well. They protect against eye diseases like cataracts. They also reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration which is a disease that blurs vision.
Nuts like cashews are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E which boosts eye health and prevents the breakdown of healthy eye tissues.
9. Do cashews make your skin glow?
Cashews contain copper, vitamin C, and vitamin E which are known for their abundant benefit for the skin. The essential nutrients in Kaju maintain collagen and elastin levels in the skin which play their part in the anti-aging effects of collagen.
Premature aging and skin damage is protected by vitamin E, present in large amounts in cashew nuts. Fatty acids, zinc, selenium, and other essential components of cashews work together to restore the hydration of the skin.
When eaten in moderation, cashews help repair and replenish the skin. However, roasted or sugar-coated cashews may not impart similar effects as plain cashews.
Zinc and selenium impart acne-treating properties to cashews as well.
You can consult a skin specialist for expert advice.
10. Does cashew nut affect the digestive system?
Fiber is essential for maintaining digestive health as it is digested slowly in the digestive tract. The fiber content of cashews also helps to prevent blood sugar spike which is commonly experienced after consuming heavy meals.
Moreover, fiber also helps in reducing cholesterol levels in the body thus, protecting against the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Refer to a gastroenterologist in case of any related issues associated with the use of cashews.
Add cashews to your diet
Cashews can be consumed as such as a dry fruit or can be added to savory or desserts. Some of the ideas to add to your diet include;
- Roasted cashews: Cashews can be eaten raw or roasted to enhance their taste.
- Cashew Milk: They can be converted into cashew milk by pulverizing them in a blender.
- Desserts: Cashew milk can be a substitute for cow milk in smoothies and desserts. Also, nuts are widely used in garnishing sweet dishes.
- Cashew sauce: Cashews can be made into savory foods, for example, ‘cashew chicken’ is among the favorite recipes of many people.
Take home note:
Cashew is a most loved dry fruit in winter. The benefits of cashews are abundant when eaten in moderation, including their effects on the heart, eyes, skin, digestive system, etc. However, excessive intake of cashews may cause bloating, constipation, joint pain, and swelling.
1. How many cashews are safe to eat in a day?
Almost 1 ounce of cashews, which make 15-18 seeds, is good to eat daily. They can be eaten raw as such, roasted, or made into different savory foods.
2. What is the best time to eat Kaju/Cashew nuts?
To avail the maximum benefits of cashews, eat them in the morning. Having Kaju for breakfast keeps the energy levels boosted throughout the day.
3. Are cashews good for sleep?
Kaju contains magnesium along with other essential nutrients. Magnesium helps in improving sleep patterns. Cashew milk is a good choice for sleep aid.