Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 1843 - Eat Cashews

Do you eat nuts?

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I have to admit, I love cashews.  I will have them as a side for my lunch, I'll snack on them during the day and I'll even eat them with my berries and other cut up fruit for breakfast.  But are they any good for me?

Luckily, they are.

Cancer: Cashews are rich in proanthocyanidins which is a class of flavinols that are reported to starve tumors and stop cancers cells from dividing.  Studies have also shown that they can reduce the risk of colon cancer (which is good news for me as there is a history of colon cancer in my family).  They are a good source of antioxidants which protect us from cancer AND they are a good source of phytochemical which protects us from heart disease.

Bone: Cashews are rich in magnesium which is important for bone health.  Copper found in cashews helps to combine collagen and elastin for more flexible bones and joints.

Heart: I always though cashews were high in fat but it turns out they have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of this fat is in the form of oleic acid which is the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Which means it's heart-healthy! Cashews are cholesterol free and because of the high antioxidant content they help lower the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases.  The magnesium in cashews helps to lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.

Nerves:  Magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed which has a flow on effect to our blood vessels and muscles.  If we don't have magnesium in our bodies then too much calcium can get access to the nerve cells which can send too many messages and lead to contradiction.  This can cause our nerves to be "on edge".

Hair and skin:  Because cashews are rich in copper they do lots of coppery things.  One copper-containing enzyme is tyrosinase which converts tyrosine to melanin which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its colour.  Without copper these enzymes can't do their job.

Gallstones:  Nuts  help prevent gallstones.  Health studies show that women who eat an ounce of nuts each week are 25% less likely to develop gallstones.

Weight loss: While cashews do contain fat it's a good fat.  They contain less fat than peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts.  Because they are dense in energy and high in dietary fibre they make an ideal snack for people (like me) who are managing their weight.

So there you have it. That's the low down on cashews!  

Another handy food item to have in the pantry when you're Deep Fried like me.  

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