Eat Empowered, For the Pro, Healthy Snacking Ideas

Why Cashews May Be Your New Go-To Nut

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Whether you’re a health junkie, a nutrition coach helping others, or you’re simply looking to add to your healthy-snack repertoire, we think it’s safe to say that including nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans is great thinking. Nuts are as full of health benefits as they are delicious, and their crunch and versatility are next-level. 

But what about cashews? Those c-shaped, golden wonders that sometimes get a bad rap because the commercially packaged varieties contain added unhealthy refined oils and usually way too much salt. We say you should give them a try! (In their healthy form, of course.)

Health Benefits of Cashews

Like almonds, cashews boast an impressive list of nutrients. In fact, just an ounce of cashews supply you with:

  • Protein (5 grams)
  • Fiber (1 gram)
  • Copper (67% of Daily Value)
  • Magnesium (20% of DV)
  • Manganese (20% of DV)
  • Zinc (15% of DV)
  • Phosphorus (13% of DV)
  • Iron (11% of DV)
  • Selenium (10% of DV)
  • Thiamine (10% of DV)
  • Vitamin K (8% of DV)
  • Vitamin B6 (7% of DV)

Cashews are low in sugar, rich in heart-healthy fats and plant protein, and they also contain antioxidants. Big win! 

So what does all this mean? Cashews may help regulate or enhance:

Cash in on Cashews

Since cashews are delicious, they’re easy to add to most eating plans. And you don’t need large servings to make a big impact—just an ounce gives you all the nutrients listed above.

Raw or Roasted?

While there are far fewer studies on cashews than, say, almonds, prevailing research suggests that the roasting process may increase the cashew’s antioxidant profile. 

To make sure you’re not getting the extra oils and salt that can come along with packaged varieties, roast the cashews yourself at home. 

How To Roast Cashews

Place cashews in a single layer on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 350°F until golden (about 10 minutes). Be sure to mix the nuts every 3-5 minutes so they don’t burn. 

You may also toss cashews into a skillet over medium heat for 3–5 minutes.

To Soak or Not to Soak?

Cashews contain phytates, which may make absorbing their vitamins and minerals more challenging for the body. Soaking the nuts overnight reduces their phytate content and may even make cashews easier to digest. 

It’s Go-Time! Here are Some Cashew Recipes To Try Today

Now that we’ve got you convinced that adding cashews to your meal plan is a winning strategy (assuming you’re not allergic to tree nuts… which cashews are considered!), here are some recipe ideas to get you started.

You can also use cashews for:

  • Soup, salad, yogurt, or oatmeal toppers
  • Dipping sauces
  • Venus Williams’s spicy cashew cream, which is a kicked-up, dairy-free version of sour cream

Image: Shutterstock

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