While cashews are fine if consumed in moderation, they aren’t always good for you
Cashews are protein-packed nuts that are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. For most people, consuming them in moderation is fine. But it’s important to be aware of what makes cashews not so great for some.
Cashew allergy is one of the most common nut allergies in the U.S. And if you are allergic to any tree nut, chances are you may also be allergic to cashews. Check with your doctor before munching on cashews.
High oxalate content
Cashews have a fairly high oxalate content, and eating foods with a lot of oxalates can cause kidney stones. So it’s important to keep an eye on how many cashews you’re eating. More than an ounce a day may be too much. Eating them with milk may help, since calcium can help reduce oxalate absorption.
If you have kidney stones or are at risk for kidney-related conditions, you should talk to your doctor about how much is safe to eat.
Raw cashews are unsafe
Raw cashews with shells contain a chemical called urushiol, which is poisonous. This toxic substance can seep into the cashew as well. Removing the shells from raw cashews and roasting them destroys urushiol. So opt for roasted cashews when you’re at the store, since they are safer to eat.
How many cashews can you eat in a day?
The nutty and creamy flavor of cashews can be tempting, and it’s easy to end up consuming too much in one sitting.
Try to consume no more than one ounce (28.35 grams) of medium cashew a day to reap health benefits. A single serving of cashews contains about 18 nuts. One way to keep your intake under control is to pack them in small, single-serving containers or bags.
What are the health benefits of cashews?
Cashews not only replenish your body with good amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc and iron, but they also have numerous health benefits when eaten in moderation:
- Maintain healthy weight: Cashews are a good snacking option because they are full of good fat, protein and fiber which may help satisfy your cravings and make you feel full for a longer time. Remember to consume them in moderation since they are high in calories.
- Lower cholesterol levels: A study published in the 2017 issue of the journal Nutrients found that cashews may help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, in some adults.
- Help manage or prevent diabetes: Cashews are associated with improved insulin levels. Their ability to increase good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) can reduce the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes.
- Heart health: Cashews are a rich source of unsaturated fats and thus a healthier source of fats and proteins than animal-based diets. The fiber content in cashews also helps reduce LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Brain health: Cashews contain a good amount of copper, a mineral that plays a role in maintaining brain health and a strong immune system.
- Bone health: As a good source of magnesium and manganese, cashews can also help maintain bone health.
Medically Reviewed on 5/26/2021
Nutrition: Nuts & Heart Health. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/17283-nutrition-nuts–heart-health
Nuts, cashew nuts, raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170162/nutrients