Snack your way to better health

Dear Reader,

Despite what some nutritionists might tell you, snacking isn’t all bad.

Especially if you pick the RIGHT kind of snack.

So, let’s talk about one healthy snack that not only helps curb your appetite between meals… but protects you against FIVE serious diseases…and helps your health SOAR!

This healthy, crunchy snack does it all

I often talk about the benefits of eating a handful a nuts a day. Well, cashews make a particularly healthy choice.

Of course, technically, cashews aren’t nuts. They’re seeds that grow inside the fruit (also known as a drupe) of the cashew tree. (Many Top of Form popular “nuts”—in addition to cashews—are really seeds of drupes, including almonds, pistachios, pecans, and walnuts.)

Nutritionally, cashews are a lot like legumes—they both contain fiber, protein, B vitamins, and healthy minerals.

However, unlike legumes, cashews also serve as a good source of essential fats. So, some people (particularly those trying to lose weight) avoid eating them.

But that’s a BIG mistake.

Because studies show that people who eat nuts regularly tend to lose more weight (when dieting). Not to mention, nut-eaters, overall, have healthier weights than people who don’t eat nuts.

In addition, since nuts contain lots of fat, protein, and fiber, they make you feel fuller, for longer. And perhaps best of all, they help protect you against serious and chronic health problems…

Five health benefits of cashews

Eating cashews (and other “nuts”) can help protect you against the following ailments:

1.) High blood pressure. Cashews (and most “nuts”) contain lots of healthy minerals, including magnesium. Magnesium relaxes the cells that line blood vessels, which, in turn, reduces blood pressure. Plus, in a 2019 study, researchers looked at the effect of eating a handful of cashews each day on blood pressure in 246 adults. They compared them to 235 adults given a placebo. It turns out, both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) readings “decreased significantly” in the cashew group compared to the placebo group.

2.) Heart disease. Despite the mainstream’s aggressive targeting of blood pressure and cholesterol with prescription drugs, heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of disability and death in the U.S. But a 2006 study found that people who eat cashews (or any kind of nut) four times a week had a 37 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease compared to those who never or seldom eat nuts. Plus, there was a clear dose-related response. Meaning that the more nuts a person ate, the greater their risk reduction. Specifically, for every handful of nuts a person ate during the week, their risk lowered by 8.3 percent.

3.) Type II diabetes. Research suggests that people with Type II diabetes should definitely add a handful of cashews (or other nuts) to their daily diet. For one, the fiber in cashews helps slow digestion and prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar. Plus, in once recent study, when people with Type II diabetes got 10 percent of their daily calories from cashews, they experienced lower insulin levels than those who ate none.

4.) Cancer. Cashews contain loads of polyphenols, carotenoids, and proanthocyanidins—three kinds of antioxidants that can help reduce chronic inflammation and prevent cancer. They’re also rich in bioavailable minerals—such as copper and selenium—which help reduce the risk of cancer cell mutations.

5.) Headaches and migraines. As I mentioned earlier, cashews are high in magnesium, which helps to relax blood vessels. So, in addition to lowering blood pressure, eating cashews may reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines and headaches (which stem from blood vessel constriction). Note: Some people find eating nuts can trigger migraines. So, consider keeping a food diary if you suspect they pose a problem for you.

In the end, cashews make a great, healthy snack option. Just make sure to avoid candied or roasted varieties (which add lots of sugar and salt). In addition to snacking on cashews, you can add them to your daily yogurt in the morning, mix them into a salad at lunch, or toss them into Asian stir-fries for dinner.

Of course, eating nuts can even improve your mental health and reduce depression. Learn more in the October 2015 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Feed your brain: What you should—and shouldn’t—eat for better mental health”). If you’re not yet a newsletter subscriber, all it takes is one easy click!