How Cashews May Help to Improve Your Cholesterol and Lower Your Blood Pressure
Cashews have not always been touted as the healthiest of nut choices because of their high fat content. However, a new study shows that cashews may help to improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
Just a palmful of cashews can help to improve your good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce blood pressure according to this new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nutrition. The study involved 300 participants from Chennai, India. The common factor shared by all participants was type-2 diabetes. Half of the group was required to consume 30 grams of cashews a day, but they couldn’t be just any cashews. The nuts had to be unsalted, raw, and broken.
Dr. V. Mohan of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation was the lead author of the study. He stated: “Around 20% of the fat in cashew nuts is of the saturated variety. We wanted to check if this type of saturated fat has an impact on cholesterol. It didn’t.”
After three months the study concluded, and a variety of parameters were taken into account concerning the participants’ results. The participants’ who consumed their daily allotment of cashews all had a blood pressure drop of 5mm and an HDL cholesterol increase of 2 milligrams. All 300 participants followed a standard diabetic diet, but it was the participants consuming cashews every day that received a 1.9-fold greater reduction in blood pressure and a 16-fold greater increase of HDL cholesterol compared to the non-cashew group.
Raw and Unsalted Cashews Are Best
Unfortunately, the cashews many Americans consume are the wrong kind. Healthy cashews are raw not roasted, salted, or seasoned by any other sugar or spice coating according to Dr. V. Mohan. Cashews are approximately 46% fat, but healthy fats in moderation can benefit your health as this study shows.
The former direction of the National Institute of Nutrition, Dr. B. Sesikeran, stated concerning the study: “The findings of the study aren’t surprising, considering recent studies have shown the benefits of fat.”
Nutritional Value of Cashews
The right kind of fat isn’t the only health benefit that cashews have to offer. A ¼ cup serving of cashews is rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins including: iron, folate, vitamin K, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. Copper ranks as the highest mineral found in cashews, however, with 750 milligrams per ¼ cup serving. It is important to note the ratio of nutrients to calories in the instance of cashews. For 196 calories, you get 16 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and the rest of the aforementioned vitamins and minerals. Nuts are a healthy snack choice because they are filling and don’t need refrigeration. Cashews also provide antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids. However, don’t go overboard on those cashews because the calories add up quickly!
In conclusion, remember that Dr. V. Mohan gave the study participants cashews that were raw, unsalted, and unroasted. This is how to reap the most nutritional benefits from the cashews by preserving them in their natural state, but beware of rancid nuts. Perhaps a palmful of cashews a day will keep the doctor away when it comes to healthy cholesterol and blood pressure ranges.
Check out these other great articles by EMaxHealth: Eating Nuts May Reduce Obesity, Blood Pressure, and Blood Sugar, Blueberry Vinegar May Help Protect Against Dementia, and A Little Vanilla May Prevent or Reduce Psoriasis.