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One Major Effect of Eating Cashews, Says Science

All the more reason to stock up on this nut!
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When you're looking for a crunchy snack, cashews almost always serve as a great option. Cashews are native to South America and the Caribbean, but can be enjoyed throughout the world as a healthy snack. Not only does eating cashews help with hunger pangs, but they can also help improve your health.

Many people who are looking to have a healthier diet opt for plant-based products, and cashews are increasingly popular as a vegan alternative to many dairy products. These nuts can be made into milk, cream cheese, cream, butter and they can even be made into a cashew butter and raspberry smoothie. (Related: 11 Misconceptions About Plant-Based Eating You Shouldn't Believe)

In addition to all of that, cashews have several health benefits linked to them, including one major effect, as regularly eating heart-healthy nuts like cashews could lead to lower blood pressure.

Valentina Duong, RD, recommends eating a handful of cashews on most days to see the most heart-friendly benefits that will lead to lowered blood pressure.

"Cashew nuts have been linked to improved triglyceride levels and reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure," Duong says. "This has a meaningful effect on heart disease risk. Therefore, choosing to include cashews into your diet regularly can help protect your heart in the long run."

Low blood pressure and the consumption of cashews are also linked in a study from the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. The study says that heart issues, including blood pressure, can be controlled through adjustments in diet, including making modifications such as consuming more raw cashews. The study says that incorporating cashews into your diet can "improve TG levels as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure with no significant effects on other cardiometabolic factors."

While cashews themselves are healthy and are evidenced to contribute to lower blood pressure, they can also have the reverse effect, high blood pressure, depending upon how you consume them. Many stores have pre-packaged cashews which come salted, and a study from the Cleveland Clinic linked consuming foods with excess salt to high blood pressure, as the sodium from the salt holds extra water, which can lead to more stress being put on your heart and blood vessels, according to the study.

When purchasing pre-packaged containers of cashews, make sure to check out the salt content to help ensure that you're not consuming anything that could put your blood pressure at risk.

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Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance food writer. Read more
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