Maintaining a good diet is, of course, one of the best ways to stay healthy. And cashew nuts are certainly beneficial in that regard. Indeed, as we’ll discover later, experts believe that your body will change in some incredible ways if you consume just four of them each day.
Cashew nuts are native to Latin America and the Caribbean, and their popularity began to spread worldwide after Europeans began exporting them hundreds of years ago. They grow on cashew trees which can, incredibly, reach heights of over 45 feet. The global trade for the fruit, meanwhile, began in the mid-16th century after they were discovered by Portuguese colonists.
In the 1550s Portuguese merchants began taking cashew nuts back to Europe following their stay in Brazil. And since then, the food item has slowly grown in popularity. But these snacks aren’t just tasty – they may also carry a few health benefits that you may not be aware of.
Cashew nuts are loaded with nutrients and vitamins, and it’s this health factor – along with their taste – which keeps people coming back to the fruit. However, you might start to notice some surprising physical changes after implementing just four of them into your daily diet.
To give you a better idea of just how well liked cashew nuts have been in recent times, here are some fascinating figures. Back in 2016 the people of India were said to have eaten more of the snack than any other nation across the world. Incredibly, they munched in excess of 300,000 metric tons that year, according to World Atlas.
American citizens, meanwhile, ate over 143,000 metric tons of cashew nuts in 2016 – some way behind India. So keeping those numbers in mind, plenty of individuals are already implementing the snack into their dietary regimes. And if you’re one of them, you could be feeling the benefits right now without even realizing it.
For reference, the Nutrition and You website provided a thorough breakdown of the properties of the fruit. The post read, “Cashews are high in calories. 100 grams of nuts provide 553 calories. They’re packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous health-promoting phytochemicals that help protect [you] from diseases and cancers.”
The website then made another interesting point about the health benefits of cashew nuts – suggesting that they could aid a vital organ. The post continued, “They are rich in ‘heart-friendly’ monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol in the blood.”
Going back to the vitamins, cashew nuts carry both vitamin B and C – with the former assisting your body’s blood cells. As for the latter, those nutrients can help support your immune system, which is vital for your long-term health. Yet that’s not all, as we’re about to find out.
The Nutrition and You post added, “Cashew nuts are abundant sources of essential minerals. Manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium are especially concentrated in them. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidases – one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body.”
When looking over this nutritional information, we’re given some idea of just how healthy cashew nuts really are. But what happens if you add four of them to your daily diet? Well, the website Bright Side decided to scan through dozens of scientific reports on the fruit to examine quite what those health impacts could be.
To begin with, let’s focus on your skin. Consuming four cashew nuts each day may give you a renewed “glow” thanks to their antioxidants and copper. That’s because the latter mineral is partly responsible for the creation of collagen – a protein that might sound somewhat familiar.
The Healthline medical website went on to explain a bit more regarding the importance of collagen in a post. It read, “Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts: including tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles.”
The article added, “Collagen has many important functions: including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. There are several foods you can eat to increase your collagen intake, [like] pork skin and bone broth. Consuming collagen may [also] have a variety of health benefits – from relieving joint pain to improving skin health.”
According to Bright Side, the antioxidants found in cashew nuts can also play a big role in improving your appearance. These compounds have the ability to slow down the aging process in your skin, which can make you look younger as a result. However, that’s not the only benefit that comes from eating the nuts.
Alongside your skin, the state of your teeth might improve as well. This is due to the “anacardic acids” that you’d find in a portion of cashew nuts, the aforementioned website claims. The substances are known to fight ailments such as MRSA, acne and tuberculosis, but the list doesn’t end there.
In addition to those problems, anacardic acids can also help you get rid of the germs that lead to the decaying of teeth. And incredibly, the compounds are said to be useful in treating tooth abscesses, too. In fact, one woman shared her own experience of this via a blog post on her website.
The lady’s name was Emily Tack, and she was writing for the web page Emily’s Favorites. In the post, she spoke about a “lump” that developed on the side of her face from a tooth abscess. To make matters even worse, Tack’s tongue was being affected as well, so she decided to purchase some cashew nuts.
Tack wrote, “I obtained a couple of pounds of raw cashews, and started chewing them up thoroughly. I also put some in the side of my mouth, where the tooth was bothering me, and simply sucked on them. When I went to bed that night, I put three or four of them inside my cheek and sucked on them for a long while.”
“I deliberately did not want to brush my teeth,” Tack continued. “[I preferred] to let any benefit the cashews were providing stay in my mouth while I slept.” After a time, that tactic seemed to have the desired effect for the writer, as she recalled what happened next on her website.
Tack concluded, “The main lump started to show signs of going away the next day. Evidently, the raw cashews were helping – a lot! My tongue cleared up, and the lump [soon] went down. All I can do is share this personal experience of mine, in the hopes that it will help someone else.”
Cashew nuts can also aid your eye health too thanks to a couple more antioxidants, according to Bright Side. The substances are called zeaxanthin and lutein, and they can help you retain a strong level of vision. This benefit only comes to pass if you eat the recommended amount of nuts every day, though.
The website added that zeaxanthin and lutein can also protect you from potential eye infections. But the former’s work doesn’t conclude there. Furthermore, that antioxidant also has the power to shield your eyes from the sun’s UV rays – which can cause damage if you’re not too careful.
In addition, the nutrients found in cashew nuts can affect you internally. Bright Side argues that your heart and immune system receive a boost from the fruit, which in turn can lead to improved energy levels.
But what’s the connection between cashew nuts and increased energy? Well, as we highlighted previously, the fruit is full of nutrients like zinc, iron, copper and an assortment of vitamins. Regarding the latter, you can find vitamin K and E in them – which lines up with the vitamin B and C that we brought up before.
Consuming the aforementioned nutrients on a daily basis will help your body function more effectively and improve your energy levels. And, as the website Bright Side points out, “… The healthier your metabolism is, the more energetic you’ll feel throughout the day.”
You might think that last example is the final health benefit you’d get from eating four cashew nuts every day. However, that assumption would prove to be incorrect, as there are a few more surprises in store. So let’s dive into the next point, which has some familiar ties.
Like we revealed previously, copper plays a big role in the development of collagen in the human body. While that helps our skin, it can also improve the strength of our bones. Yet cashew nuts contain an additional mineral called magnesium as well, and, according to Bright Side, that can be just as beneficial.
You retain calcium thanks to helpings of magnesium – which subsequently aids your bones. As a result of that, you’re far less likely to suffer from medical issues like osteoporosis in the future. To break things down even further, the aforementioned website argues, a single-ounce serving of cashew nuts contains 20 percent of your recommended daily intake of the mineral.
Staying with magnesium, the compound also has a connection to the next health benefit. Although we’ve discussed one of its most important duties in the human body, you could develop some problems if there’s not enough in your system. And to elaborate more on this, Healthline went on to reveal a bit more on its website.
The medical post read, “Symptoms of being low in magnesium include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle cramping, tingling and muscle contractions. Low magnesium is also linked to headaches and migraines. It’s estimated that many people don’t get enough magnesium through their diets. One study found that about 75 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium.”
Healthline then took a closer look at the link between low magnesium and bad headaches. The post continued, “Significant research has shown that people with migraines often have lower levels of magnesium than those without them. One study actually found that regular intake of magnesium reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by 41.6 percent.”
And this is where cashew nuts can come into play yet again, according to Bright Side. Given that the fruit is packed with magnesium, a daily helping of the snack might be just what the doctor ordered if you suffer from migraines. Incredibly, though, the health benefits don’t end there.
When someone looks to lose a bit of weight, they usually steer clear of nuts. This is due to the preconceived notion that the food items are full of fat and will add more pounds to a person’s waistline. But in the case of cashew nuts, that doesn’t seem to happen.
As Nutrition and You previously highlighted, while cashew nuts might be harboring lots of calories, their fats are actually quite healthy. Moreover, there are some individuals who claim that daily helpings of the fruit aided their weight loss. This could be put down to how filling cashew nuts are – which is ideal when you’re watching what you eat.
Furthermore, Bright Side argued that the copper in cashew nuts can affect your hair follicles as well. The nutrient has the ability to make your locks feel much smoother and stronger than before. Surprisingly, the color can receive a boost too, as the nuts increase the creation of the melanin pigment.
So after reading through these health benefits, you might want to implement more cashew nuts into your daily diet. However, Bright Side claims that you shouldn’t consume more than the suggested four per day for a pretty good reason. As it turns out, if you start eating an abundance of them, you could very well develop a bad headache.
In addition, there are some other things to keep in mind when adding cashew nuts to your eating regime. Medical News Today explained, “Truly raw cashews are not safe to eat, as they contain a substance known as urushiol, [which is] found in poison ivy.”
The website’s post continued, “Urushiol is toxic, and contact with it can trigger a skin reaction in some people. Cashew kernels are often sold as ‘raw’ in stores, but these have been steamed. This removes the toxins. These cashews are healthy [to eat].” From there, it then outlined one last bit of advice.
Medical News Today brought up another warning, saying, “Depending on the brand, salted and roasted cashews can contain high levels of salt and fat – which may not be healthy. Overall, it is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.”