Cashew nut is a dry fruit that is widely consumed across the world in the form of snacks, added to meals, sweet dishes, etc. Cashews are high in health value due to the presence of omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and monounsaturated oleic acid, apart from the presence of several other vitamins and minerals.
However, despite being high in nutrition, cashews have always been linked to weight gain, due to the high calories that they contain. But, have you actually tried to find out if cashews really add to weight gain? Do you really have to avoid them completely if you are on a weight loss diet? Let's find out.
Health Benefits Of Cashews:
If cashews can cause weight gain, then why consume it in the first place? Wait until you check out at least some of these major health benefits of cashews:
• Cashews are loaded with healthy fats that actually help lower cholesterol levels. They are rich in antioxidants and keep your heart healthy.
• Cashews are a rich source of protein and can help you maintain energy levels through the day.
• Cashews contain vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and potassium.
• Cashews can help enhance your mood, as they are a rich source of tryptophan, which is one of the most essential amino acids that produce serotonin, responsible for enhancing your mood.
• Cashews enhance the hormone functions and body metabolism and are ideal for maintaining a healthy weight.
• Cashews have high fibre content that can keep you satiated for longer hours, reducing hunger pangs. In fact, a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that when consumed as a snack, cashews can suppress appetite, helping you eat less through the day.
• The copper and iron in cashews help the body in forming and utilizing the red blood cells, thereby keeping blood vessels, immune system, and bones healthy and support their proper functioning.
• Cashews are good for your eyes too, as high levels of Lutein and Zeaxanthin compounds protect the eyes from light damage and decrease the instance of cataracts.
Cashews And Weight Gain
One ounce of raw cashews contains 155 calories. Without a doubt, cashews can contribute to weight gain due to their high calories. But the trick is to consume them the right way and in moderation. According to health experts, eating one ounce of mixed nuts, a handful of them to be precise, is ideal to harness all the goodness they have to offer.
According to nutritionists, cashew nuts do not cause weight gain, unless eaten in excess. Cashews have a bad reputation when it comes to weight gain, due to their high calories. But, when combined with other dry fruits like walnuts, almonds and raisins, cashews wouldn't affect much, provided they are eaten in moderation.
Cashews are good sources of proteins with more than 4 g of protein per ounce, constituting to nearly 10 percent of the recommended protein intake a day for women. Eating a high-protein diet helps with weight loss and increases the feeling of fullness.
To include cashews in diet:
Roasted plain cashews are always better than salted and fried ones, as in the presence of fats, nuts can be highly fattening.
Try and replace animal proteins and fats with mono and polyunsaturated fats that are found in cashews. Cashews are a great replacement for animal fats and proteins, and can make for a tasty snack. This way, you can manage your weight, while also reducing the build-up of fat and cholesterol in the heart.
The best way to include cashews in your diet is to simply snack on a handful of raw cashews. When including them in main dishes or side dishes, consider adding them to green beans, sprinkling them on salads or just include them in stir-fries along with foods that are high in protein and less in fat.
To conclude, cashews are a healthy, versatile food, and unique in comparison to other nuts, and full of nutrition that are essential for good health. The fats in cashews are healthy fats, the kind of fat that your body needs for its proper functioning and it does not contribute to weight gain, unless consumed in excess. You just have to exercise in moderation and grab a small handful to enjoy the amazing benefits of this wonder nut!