5 reasons why snacking on kajus or cashew nuts is a healthy option!

5 reasons why snacking on kajus or cashew nuts is a healthy option!

By Neha Ranglani  on: 26 May 2015
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What is your favourite past-time snack? Although most of you might like to eat cashew nuts, your might restrict yourself from doing so due to its high calories count. While cashew nuts often make their way to desserts such as the yummykaju katlis,kheer and brownies, here are more reasons you should gorge on this nut. Packed with many nutrients that boost your metabolism and tastes good, our expert Neha Chandna, a nutritionist, tells you why cashew nuts should rank as a healthy snack.

# 1 Keeps your heart healthy

Cashew nuts are rich in good fats and have zero cholesterol which helps lower LDL, the bad cholesterol and triglyceride making one’s heart healthy. Many think that cutting out fat intake is good for our body which is untrue. Our body needs nutrients from all food groups including fats; all you need to do is get it from good sources like kajuinstead of unhealthy ones. 

#2 Makes your body stronger

They are rich in magnesium which is required for strong bones, proper muscle and nerve functioning. Our bodies need a daily intake of about 300 – 750 mg of magnesium as it helps regulate the amount of calcium absorbed by our bones. 

#3 Controls your blood pressure levels

These nuts are low in sodium and high in potassium and thus keep blood pressure under check. When there is excess sodium, the body retains more water which causes the volume of blood to increase in turn increasing the blood pressure. 

#4 Reduces your risk of cancer

Cashew nuts also contain antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E which prevent free radical oxidation, reduce the risk of cancer and boost immunity. Since they are rich in zinc, they help fight infections. 

#5 Plays a key role in numerous body functions

As cashew nuts are packed with high copper content, they play an important role in enzyme activity, hormone production and brain function. Apart from this, they also help in the production of red blood cells and thus, prevent anaemia.

Given the fact that cashew nuts are high in calories, numerous questions might be going in your head at this point of time. Our expert sheds light on some common questions you might have regarding consumption of tasty cashew nuts or kajus.

How often should one eat them?

Though these are absolutely delicious and difficult to stop eating after just a few, remember control is the key to good health. Eating between 5-10 pieces is enough for a day. You can eat them in two batches as a healthy snack to replace your junk food cravings. But keep in mind, excess consumption can lead to weight gain so eat within limits. 

Should they be avoided in any particular season?

Earlier, there was a belief that nuts generate body heat and should be avoided in summer months. While anything is excess is bad for the body, a few nuts have more health benefits than health issues. Stick to a handful and you can enjoy them in every season.

Should people will certain conditions avoid them all together?

Everyone can eat cashew nuts except people who are allergic to nuts or get a migraine headache due to them.

There are different varieties of cashew nuts like salted or roasted ones. Are they good or should one stick to the plain ones?

You get a wide variety of cashew nuts coated with different masalas, salted, herbed, honeyed, etc. It all depends on your taste buds, choices and health goals. If you suffer from hypertension, avoid salted ones. If you are on a weight loss goal, avoid honey-coated ones. Take your pick wisely or simply stick to the plain variety. 

Do they have any ill-effects on health?

There are no ill-effects of cashew nuts as such but one must not forget that they are rich in calories and so not too many should be eaten at a time. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction which may show different symptoms for different people including vomiting and diarrhoea, swelling, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, etc. If you experience any of these after eating them, it is best to discontinue and see a doctor.

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Nutritionist Neha Chandna shares a sample meal plan to help you shed a few kilos in a healthy way before your special day. Instead of going on a crash diet and starving yourself, lose weight in a healthy way to avoid fainting and other health problems after the D-Day is over.Just remember that you need to follow it at least six months before your wedding. Remember, though diet is 70% responsible for a healthy weight loss, you also need some sort of physical activity every day to stay fit and burn calories.  Early morning: green tea + 1 fruit Breakfast: 1 bowl of oats porridge/ poha/ upma/ idli Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 2 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curds Evening: whole wheat bread sandwich/ bhel(no sev)/ sprouts Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish + 1 roti Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk If you haven’t had the chance to focus on yourself with all the shopping and wedding arrangements, there is still time to tone-up your figure and look your best. You can follow this meal plan three months prior to the D-Day and drop a dress size. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: oats upma/ oats dosa Mid morning: 1 fruit + 4 almonds/ walnuts Lunch: salad + 1 rotis/ 1 cup brown rice + veggies + dal + curd Evening: 1 fruit Dinner: soup + salad+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk It’s just 30 days to the wedding, fret not! You can still lose weight. This is a meal plan when only it’s only 1 month to the wedding. In addition to this, get some exercise and don’t stress – with the right outfit, you will look perfect. Early morning: green tea + 2 dates Breakfast: fruits + nuts Mid morning: 1 bowl sprouts/ salad of pulses Lunch: salad + veggies + dal + curd Evening: soup Dinner: salad/ stir fry+ veggies/ chicken/ fish Bedtime: 1 cup skim milk Even if you start with the 6-month meal plan, you can move to the 3- and 1-month plans as you inch closer to the wedding day. Be happy and you are sure to glow and look wonderful on your special day. 
Weight gain due to long working hours. What should I do? (Diet query of the day)
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Q: Dear dietician, I am a 46-year-old working, unmarried lady. I have a sitting job and long working hours from 10 am to 8 pm. Lately, I have been having irregular periods. I have put on weight especially on my waistline and the hip area. Please suggest a suitable diet plan so that I can reduce my waistline. Answered by nutritionist Neha Chandna As you age, your metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. Since you have a sitting job and being a woman, you are prone to put on weight near the stomach and hip areas as a woman is genetically designed to have a pear-shaped body. Also, you might be close to menopause due to which you have irregular periods. I advise you to join a gym and alternate between weight training and cardio to help build muscle mass and burn fat. Along with this, you need to eat a balanced diet with lots of fibre, greens, veggies, nuts, salads, curd, etc. (Read: 10 awesome fitness workouts for the perfect you!) Here is a diet plan for you: Have a healthy breakfast to keep you going for the morning. Include items like oats porridge/ oats upma/ idli/ dosa. Between breakfast and lunch, have a fruit and a handful of nuts. In lunch, eat a portion of salad, a jowar/ragi chapatti with veggies, dal and a glass of buttermilk (chhaas). Keep your dinner light. You can have soup, salad, veggies/grilled chicken or fish. Avoid eating rotis or rice at night. Along with this, drink two-three cups of green tea every day and sleep well. 
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Dietitian Neha Chandna (Ranglani) has 8 years of experience in the field. Food and Health is the matter of interest for most of the people today and realizing the need to create awareness and spread the right information to the society, Neha decided to extensively educate herself in the field of nutrition. As a known fact that diet and exercise go hand in hand, She went a step ahead to certify herself as a REEBOK Aerobic instructor. One of the Most Famous & Online Nutritionists Dietitians in Mumbai (Khar west).Neha Chandna, a dietitian in Mumbai, is a university topper in Dietetics from S.V.T. She has worked as a nutritionist for reputed gyms and fitness trainers and as a consultant with doctors and physiotherapists. She deals with sportsmen, individuals who are obese or victims of lifestyle issues- to name a few- diabetes, thyroid, osteoporosis, PCOS etc. and active/exercising sector of society. She educates and conducts seminar/workshops for corporates like banks (HDFC & Standard Chartered Bank), BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living. She also takes workshops on Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. Neha Chandna also writes articles for magazines and newspapers like New Woman, Beauty and salon, Hello Mumbai, the afternoon etc. She has also done a couple of interviews for TV9 channel. She is an online consultant for a health social networking website www.ihealthu.com. Dietician Neha Chandna is one of the Best Dietician / nutritionist in Khar west , Mumbai.Neha Chandna is a Famous Nutritionist in Khar west & a famous nutritionist in Mumbai for weight loss diet chart and for other diet plan services. Popular dietcian in Mumbai. Consult her for best online Diet charts in Mumbai. 
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