Cashews – Ingredient of the week

Cashew nuts have to be up there amongst my favourite nuts. I find they are creamy and flavoursome as well as being extremely versatile and easy to find. Not only are they delicious but they pack a punch nutrition wise too!

With an array of health benefits, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t include these delicious flavoured nuts into your diet. Cashews are packed full of vitamins and minerals such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamins such as vitamins B, K and E.

I have outlined below my top reasons why you should include cashew nuts into your daily diet –

  1. Improve heart health – Cashews are packed full of heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which help lower your harmful cholesterol (LDL) whilst increasing your good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood stream which in-turn helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  2. Healthy hair and skin– Cashews provide you with an abundant of minerals, these minerals are necessary for our bodies to maintain optimum health. Cashews main mineral is copper which helps in the production of skin (collagen) and hair, it has also been proven to improve hair colour and texture. Time to get some cashew oil and start applying!
  3. Weight loss – Due to the fat and protein content in cashews, they can help you feel satisfied and fuller for longer. They are a great snack on the run however they should always be eaten raw and unsalted so they are beneficial for weight loss.
  4. Dietary fiber – Cashews are a good source of dietary fibers which help you digest your food better. Cashews are packed full of oleic and palmitic acid which are essential for our diet as our bodies are unable to produce them.
  5. Brain function – Cashews contain vitamins K & E which are fat soluble vitamins. The brain is made up of mostly fat and it relies on a steady supply of healthy fats to support healthy ageing, mood regulation and of course cognitive function (memory, attention, language and knowledge through attainment of information)

Many people avoid eating cashews due to their fat content however cashews actually contain less fat than most other nuts, and what they do contain are mainly unsaturated fats as mentioned above. The key to eating any nuts are to eat them in moderation! My favourite ways to incorporate the cashew nut into my diet are –

  • Handful of raw cashews or included in a trail nut mix
  • Cashew nut butter – look up recipes for a delicious roasted cashew & vanilla nut butter
  • Cashew oil – applied to hair and skin
  • Roasted and tossed through salads, stir fries and curries
  • Nut milk – soaked for a minimum of 4 hours and blended with filtered water.

Let me know how you get on with including this little health bomb into your diet!

 

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