We celebrate one of America’s favorite snacking nuts annually on November 23rd; however, we first observed this unofficial holiday in 2015. Cashews are not only a great source of vitamins and minerals, but they contain a wide variety of antioxidants, making it one of the greatest replacements for animal fats and proteins.
Cashews have one of the lowest fiber contents of all the nuts, but they are loaded with such vitamins as E, K, and B6, as well as minerals such as copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron. All of these help to maintain healthy blood and immune system functions.
Most people know that carrots are good for your eyes, but you’ll be surprised to know that cashews are too. Lutein and zeaxanthin, found in cashews, are two highly essential eye nutrients. They help to reduce the possibility of macular degeneration and cataracts. They do this by protecting the body from the damaging effects of free radicals, which destroy healthy cells.
The minerals found in cashews are important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. They keep the blood vessels, immune system, and bones healthy and functioning properly. For example, everyone knows that calcium is needed for strong and healthy bones. So is magnesium, which helps to regulate nerve and muscle tone. And not having enough magnesium in your diet can cause high blood pressure, migraine headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue.
Although cashews are highly nutritious, they do contain a lot of fat…but the healthy fat. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in cashews help reduce the risk for stroke, prevent weight gain, and improve heart disease. People who eat nuts at least twice a week are less likely to gain weight than those who do not consume nuts.
So, grab a handful of these delicately-flavored, kidney-shaped healthy snacks, and enjoy all of the health benefits it has to offer!
**Photo courtesy of https://nuts.com/healthy-eating/benefits-of-cashews**