Cashews are a real calorie bomb with almost 600 calories per 100 grams. Nevertheless, they are a popular snack for in between meals – and that’s a good thing, because the nuts are very healthy. Despite their high calorie content, cashews are considered a true superfood and are therefore an important part of a balanced diet.
In this blog post we will tell you 9 reasons why it is worth reaching for cashews more often.
Cashew nuts consist of almost 40 percent fat – hence their high calorie content. However, the majority of fats are healthy fatty acids. Therefore, cashew nuts must not be classified as unhealthy snacks at all, but supply you with important fatty acids, which not only provide you with energy, but also positively influence your cardiovascular system, for example by lowering the cholesterol level.
Carbohydrates, on the other hand, make up about 30 percent. This is considerably more than most other types of nuts, such as hazelnuts, for example. Depending on the form of nutrition, this can be seen as an advantage or disadvantage. However, since they are more likely to be long-chain carbohydrates and fibre, the consumption of cashew nuts supports a constant blood sugar level and reduces the risk of weight gain in this context.
Cashews contain 18 grams of protein per 100 grams and are therefore an indispensable source of vegan protein. The amino acids contained in them not only help to build and maintain muscles, but also fulfil other vital tasks. For example, they are essential building blocks for building and renewing cells and tissue.
Cashews contain a high proportion of L-tryptophan. This amino acid is an important component of the messenger substance serotonin. Serotonin, in turn, is one of the so-called “happiness hormones” and thus ensures an increased sense of well-being and happiness. So, you can literally “eat yourself happy”.
That cashew nuts help you relax may sound like a fairy tale, but it is true by no means. Because the amino acid tryptophane mentioned above is not only a building block of serotonin, but also the precursor of the sleep hormone melatonin. Cashews are therefore ideal as a snack in the evening, as melatonin ensures a restful sleep.
Furthermore, the cashew nut is rich in the mineral magnesium, which acts as a counterpart to calcium. While calcium is responsible for tensing the muscles, magnesium ensures relaxed muscles and thus counteracts muscle cramps.
The healthy fatty acids contained in cashew nuts have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Thus, the unsaturated fatty acids for example help to lower the cholesterol level as well as to decrease the blood pressure. Both prevent heart diseases – therefore cashew nuts or nuts in general should not be missing in any diet.
The high magnesium content can also have a positive effect on heart function. This important mineral indirectly promotes the elasticity of blood vessel walls by stimulating the build-up of elastin. Elastin is one of the most important structural proteins in the body and is responsible for the important elasticity of the blood vessels. Magnesium can also help lower blood pressure and inhibit the formation of blood clots.
Especially the vitamins of the B-complex contained in cashews have a positive effect on the performance of the brain. Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, for example, is essential for the utilization of carbohydrates, as it has a positive effect on the enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Since the brain is dependent on energy in the form of glucose and this substance is produced when carbohydrates are broken down, the importance of this vitamin for brain activity is obvious.
But some of the fatty acids also have a positive effect on brain performance. Nuts are not called “brain food” for nothing.
Cashews actually have a positive influence on the immune system. One of the reasons for this is that they contain plenty of zinc. Zinc has antioxidant properties and thus counteracts free radicals that could otherwise harm our organism. Zinc can also help to improve the structure of mucous membranes. This makes it more difficult for viruses and bacteria to penetrate the organism.
Especially minerals like copper, iron and zinc have a positive effect on the metabolism. They not only play an important role in energy production, but also ensure optimal oxygen transport, as iron is an essential component of haemoglobin (red blood pigment and oxygen transporter).
The B vitamins also ensure optimal metabolism – they are not only essential for the energy metabolism of skin cells, but also regulate protein and carbohydrate metabolism and thus play an important role in supplying cells with essential nutrients.
Cashew nuts are literally good for the nerves: Vitamin B1 affects not only the central but also the peripheral nervous system, as it is important for the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve and muscle cells.
Cashew nuts are by no means fattening but supply the body with essential nutrients. So, they should not be missing from your diet – a handful of nuts a day can already have a positive effect on your body. Cashews can not only be easily processed into a vegetable milk alternative, but are also ideal as a topping for bowls.
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