Cashew butter is a food spread made from roasted or baked cashew nuts and oil with a creamy and smooth texture. You’ll most likely find it in creamy sauces, nutty salad dressings, rice cakes and bakes, cornflakes, sandwiches, freshly baked cookies, or slathered over thick, wholemeal bread. You can prepare cashew butter at home or buy it from a convenience store. 

Cashew butter is creamy, smooth, and has lower fat content than other nut butter. Also, it’s one of the richest providers of monounsaturated fatty acids, vital amino acids, and magnesium, despite the lack of omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are good for blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol management, bone health, the immune system, and metabolism. It helps in maintaining a good body weight. In addition, it contains various nutrients like copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, and antioxidants. It improves eye health and is beneficial for type 2 diabetes

Nutritional Properties of Cashew Butter

As per USDA, 100g of Cashew Butter holds the following nutritional values:

  • Water: 2.96 g
  • Energy: 587 kcal
  • Protein: 17.6 g
  • Fat: 49.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
  • Fibre: 2 g

Vitamins and Minerals

Cashew butter also contains fair amounts of vitamins and minerals.

  • Calcium: 43 mg
  • Iron: 5.03 mg
  • Magnesium: 258 mg
  • Phosphorus: 457 mg
  • Potassium: 546 mg
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Zinc: 5.16 mg
  • Copper: 2.19 mg

The HealthifyMe Note

A small serving of cashew butter packs an impressive bunch of macronutrients, protein, vitamins, and minerals. This tasty spread is particularly rich in folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and manganese, which usually help our bodies function.

Health Benefits of Cashew Butter

Improves Eye Health

Cashew nuts contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These two compounds are good for eye health. According to 2018 research, lutein is a carotenoid with anti-inflammatory properties. 

It has several benefits for eye health:

  • It is known to improve or even prevent age-related macular disorders, which lead to blindness and vision impairment.
  • Cashew Butter has positive effects in different clinical conditions, thus facilitating cognitive functions.
  • It decreases the risk of cancer and improves cardiovascular health.

Briefly, consumption of a lutein-based diet may contribute to reducing the burden of chronic diseases.

Aids Healthy Weight Management

Cashew butter contains high-fat content but can help in body weight control. According to a study in 2019, increasing daily consumption of nuts like cashew or cashew butter is associated with less long-term weight gain and a lower risk of obesity in adults.

Therefore, replacing 0.5 servings/day of unhealthy foods with cashew butter may be a simple strategy to prevent long-term weight gain and obesity.

Heart-Friendly

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential to keeping bad cholesterol levels low. It turns out cashew butter may help you regarding this. A study performed in 2018 observed that people who added cashew butter to their diets had lower levels of bad cholesterol than those who did not.

Cashews are abundant with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk. Approximately one-third of the saturated fatty acids in cashew butter is stearic acid, which is relatively neutral on blood lipids.

Promotes Muscle Building

Protein-based diets are body-building diets that provide energy to function. For example, cashew butter is a fantastic source of healthy plant protein, with an impressive 4.9g of protein per 28g serving.

Our body uses protein to produce enzymes, build muscles, grow new hair, etc. So adding cashew nut to your protein shake or morning bowl of oats or cornflakes can instantly boost the protein content and give them a delicious creamy texture and rich taste.

Good Source of Antioxidants

Cashew butter contains various antioxidants. The compounds present in cashew nuts protect your cells from damage by neutralising harmful free radicals. Antioxidants such as glutathione, thioredoxin, ascorbic acid, and enzymes counter oxidative stress and protect lipids, proteins, and DNA. These antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids, and amino acids are also natural antioxidants in foods. 

Antioxidants scavenge free radical and non-radical oxidants to protect them from oxidative stress and damage. In addition, antioxidants help cure various diseases like cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, etc. Studies suggest that cashew nuts lower levels of oxidative cell damage.

Many studies show that oxidation and the level of plasma lipids are closely related to the development of coronary heart disease. Therefore, dietary almond supplementation and nuts like cashew may benefit CHD lipid risk factor levels and their susceptibility to oxidative modification. In addition, roasted cashews offer more antioxidants value. 

Cashew butter gets made using roasted cashews, which contain phenolic components. In a study in 2011, whole cashew nuts were subjected to low-temperature and high-temperature (H.T.) treatments to determine the antioxidant activity of the products. Antioxidant activities of cashew nut extracted increased as the roasting temperature increased. 

Beneficial for Diabetes Type 2

People with type 2 diabetes may add cashew butter or cashew nuts to their diets. Cashews are a good source of nutrients and fibre, which helps limit blood sugar levels. It offers a kind of protection to type 2 diabetes patients. 

A study suggests that those consuming the highest amounts of dietary fibre, especially cereal fibre, may benefit from a reduction in developing type 2 diabetes. The study shows a slight decline in fasting blood glucose concentration and a small decrease in glycosylated haemoglobin percentage for individuals with type 2 diabetes who add β-glucan or psyllium to their daily dietary intake. 

A study has concluded that people with daily cashew intake had lower insulin levels and marked blood sugar level control than those who did not consume cashews.

The HealthifyMe Note

Cashew Butter provides a bunch of health benefits. Also, copper in cashew supports brain development, growth, immune system function, and blood clot formation. Phosphorus helps maintain bones and teeth. Manganese helps the body perform chemical reactions and various enzymatic reactions, like converting food into energy. Magnesium supports the thyroid gland, which produces many hormones like thyroxine. So adding a spoonful or two to your daily diet could help you hit your nutrition targets.

Ways to Include Cashew Butter in your Daily Diet

Cashew butter is easy to prepare at home. Many recipes suggest simply blending cashew nuts with oil or salt. Blend until it becomes a smooth and soft paste. Preparing cashew butter on your own allows you to control the taste and calorie intake according to your choice of oil.

You can serve cashew butter with fresh baked cookies, bread, and toast, as well as in muffins and desserts. Also, you can add cashew butter to savoury noodle dishes, smoothies, sandwiches, etc. You can go creative and add cashew butter spreads on crackers or in a bowl of fresh fruits as a snack. Finally, mix a spoonful of cashew butter into yoghurt or oatmeal for an extra pop of protein.

Recipes

Healthy Vegan Cashew and Coconut Burfi

Ingredients 

  • Coconut (shredded): 1 whole
  • Cashew butter: 1 cup
  • Oats (ground): 2 tbsp
  • Jaggery (/Gur): 2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon powder: ½ tsp
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Ginger powder: ¼ tsp
  • Nutmeg: 1 pinch

Directions

  • Shred the fresh coconut flesh in a blender. 
  • Then, make a water bath and melt your cashew butter, do not put it over direct heat.
  • After it has melted a bit, add the oats and jaggery/honey.
  • Take a plate and spread a thin layer of extra virgin coconut oil so the mixture doesn’t stick.
  •  Level out the mixture on it. Then, put it into the fridge for about an hour or two to firm up a bit. Then, you can decorate it with silver foil.
  •  Cut into pieces and satisfy your sweet tooth!

Banana Cashew Butter Chia Seed Smoothie

This smoothie is super healthy. You can have it with breakfast or snacks.

Ingredients

  • Cashew butter: ¼ cup
  • Frozen medium bananas: 2 cups
  • Unsweetened almond milk: 1 cup
  • Cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • Chia seeds: 2 tbsp
  • Toppings of choice (optional)

Directions

  • Blend everything in a grinder.
  • Add Toppings of your choice, and enjoy!

Storage

  • You can store unopened containers of cashew butter for up to 2-3 years. 
  • Keep the unpacked cashew butter refrigerated to avoid microorganisms interfering with the composition and spoiling it. 
  • You may store cashew butter in the refrigerator for up to one month. 
  • Smelling the cashew butter can tell if it’s still fresh.

Potential Side effects caused by Cashew Butter

Allergy

Most individuals are allergic to nuts, and cashews are just that. Allergies can range in severity from severe to moderate. Touch dermatitis, which causes rashes and itching on the skin when it comes into contact with cashews, is an allergen that can develop. 

An allergy to cashews can include nausea, coughing, vomiting, cramps, diarrhoea, and pain in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, when people are allergic to cashews, they often experience respiratory problems. 

Anaphylaxis is the most dangerous response to cashews. It is a rapid reaction that, if not controlled, can take over the entire body. It can cause loss of consciousness, loud breathing, tongue and throat enlargement, and even paleness. It’s a severe condition that requires medical treatment.

Weight Gain

Replacing junk foods with cashew butter, which has a unique nutrient profile, might help manage long-term weight. However, cashews are high in fat. Therefore, excessive consumption may lead to the intake of unhealthy amounts of calories and weight gain.

Kidney Stones

Cashews contain oxalate salts, which interfere with calcium absorption in the body. As a result, kidney stones can occur due to an overabundance of calcium that is not absorbed. So it would help if you consumed them in moderation.

Conclusion

Cashew butter is a creamy, smooth food spread produced from roasted or baked cashew nuts and oil. Cashew butter has a lot of macronutrients, protein, vitamins, and minerals in a little portion. Also, this delicious spread is high in folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and manganese, all essential for regular body function. 

Cashew butter has several health advantages. Copper aids in brain development, growth, immune system function, and the creation of blood clots. Phosphorus is vital for bone and tooth health. Manganese aids the body’s chemical and enzymatic activities, such as converting food into energy. Magnesium benefits the thyroid gland, generating many hormones, including thyroxine.

It makes creamy sauces, nutty salad dressings, rice cakes and bakes, cornflakes, sandwiches, and freshly baked cookies, and you can use it as a wholemeal bread spread. You may make cashew butter at home or get it at a convenience shop. However, people with allergies should watch out for signs. Also, it may cause kidney stones or weight gain if consumed excessively.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is cashew butter healthy?

A. Cashew nut butter is good for your health and somewhat of a superfood. Some may even consider it the healthiest nut butter. Cashews are rich in protein, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre. It can be used for weight control and also reduces bad cholesterol levels.

Q. Is cashew butter healthier than peanut butter?

A. Cashew butter, like peanut butter, provides a lot of beneficial fats. Furthermore, compared to peanut butter, it contains a slightly greater monounsaturated fat content. However, cashew and peanut butter are roughly similar in total fat and calorie composition. Cashew butter, on the other hand, has less protein.

Q. Which is healthier, almond or cashew butter?

A. The main difference between almond butter and cashew butter is that cashew butter has more protein and less calorie content. In contrast, almond butter has more calcium and less saturated fat. Overall, both almond butter and cashew butter are healthy and nutritious.

Q. Is cashew butter good for weight loss?

A. Cashew butter contains high-fat content but can lead to body weight control. According to a study in 2019, increasing daily consumption of nuts like cashew or cashew butter is associated with less long-term weight gain and a lower risk of obesity in adults. Replacing 0.5 servings/day of unhealthy foods with cashew butter may be a simple strategy to prevent gradual long-term weight gain and obesity. It could be a good option for those seeking a weight loss diet.

Q. Does cashew butter make you fat?

A. Substituting junk foods with cashew butter, which has a robust nutritious profile, may aid in long-term weight loss. But, cashews are rich in fat. Therefore, excessive consumption can lead to calorie intake and weight gain, which is harmful.

Q. Does cashew butter lower blood pressure?

A. Cashew nuts are known to reduce blood pressure, improve the level of good cholesterol and reduce the level of bad cholesterol. According to a study in 2018, nut or nut butter consumption like cashew butter decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, cashew nut consumption reduces systolic blood pressure and increases HDL cholesterol levels. Therefore, there are usually no harmful effects on body weight if other dietary parameters are correct.

Q. Is cashew butter anti-inflammatory?

A. As Cashew Butter is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s), similar to those found in olive and sunflower oil. Studies suggest that MUFAs can help reduce inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases related to the heart. In addition, cashews offer many other healthy nutrients, including the highest zinc, manganese, and copper content than any other nut.

Q. Do cashews cause gas?

A. Since cashews are high-FODMAP foods, which means they contain carbohydrates that can induce stomach irritation, they have the potential to make you feel bloated.

Q. Do cashews have antioxidants?

A. Cashew butter contains various antioxidants. The compounds present in Cashew Nuts protect your cells from damage by neutralising harmful free radicals. Antioxidants such as glutathione, thioredoxin, ascorbic acid, and enzymes counter oxidative stress and protect lipids, proteins, and DNA. These antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids, and amino acids are also natural antioxidants in foods. 

Antioxidants scavenge free radical and non-radical oxidants to protect them from oxidative stress and damage. Also, Studies suggest that cashew nuts lower levels of oxidative cell damage. Therefore, antioxidants help cure diseases like cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, etc.

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