Winter is indeed the time to consume foods that are nutritious and help keep the body warm and healthy. One such nutritious food item are nuts, and their regular consumption is highly recommended. However, when it comes to choosing what to eat among the many varieties, people tend to assume that "healthy nuts" are limited to just almonds or walnuts. But that is not the case, explained celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar in an Instagram post.
Here is what she has to say.
"Cashews are the produce of India and Africa and they are just as good as almonds and walnuts, if not any better. But you will still have doctors and dieticians who recommend eating almonds and walnuts but not cashews as they have cholesterol in them," she said.
Diwekar further mentioned how the fruit of the nut is "five times richer in Vitamin C than one orange". Apart from being good for boosting immunity, vitamin C is also cardioprotective. The nutrient can give you healthy joints and heart.
"Cashew nut has no cholesterol. In fact, diabetics experience symptoms like numbness in the middle of the night and maybe wanting to stretch. Cashews are so rich in minerals that if you just had a handful of them every day then you won't get those cramps. You will regulate your blood sugar much better and that would allow for mental stability," she said.
As per a 2018-study published in The Journal of Nutrition and Disease, cashew nut consumption increased HDL Cholesterol and reduced systolic blood pressure in Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes. As per the 12-week randomised controlled trial where the researchers gave 300 participants with type 2 diabetes either a cashew-enriched diet or a typical diabetes diet, it was noted how the nut didn’t show any “deleterious effects on body weight, glycemia, or other lipid variable”.
Here are some benefits of cashews that you must know about
*Micronutrients like potassium, Vitamin E, B6 and folic acid offer protection from heart disease. Over 75 per cent of the fat in cashews is oleic acid, which is also known to be a heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat.
*Cashews in controlled portions aid weight loss. Not only cashews, all nuts are high in calories which is why they need to be eaten in controlled portions.
*Cashew nuts are a good source of dietary fibres, which help digest food better. Excessive consumption may cause bloating and significant intestinal gas production. Consumption of nuts like cashews have been related to decreased incidences of several digestive diseases.
*Cashews are known to help utilise iron properly and eliminate free radicals that otherwise may cause health problems.
However, moderation is the key as increased intake of cashews (more than a handful) can spike one's calorie intake which may elevate the risk of allergy and oxalates (excess of which may cause kidney stones).