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Are Cashews Legumes or Nuts? [Healthy or NOT]

Are Cashews Legumes or Nuts

Cashews are a very popular snack just like peanuts, but peanuts are actually a legume and not a nut.

So, are cashews legumes or nuts?

Cashews are a nut. A cashew forms at the base of a cashew apple which grows on a cashew apple tree.

A cashew apple tree grows in virtually the same way as an apple tree.

The main difference is that the cashew nut, which is the seed, forms on the outside of the cashew apple.

Whereas, normal apple seeds are much smaller and form on the inside of the apple.

Many people are unfamiliar with cashew apples, how they taste, and whether they’re good for you.

So, below I’ll explain everything you need to know about cashew nuts and cashew apples.

Are Cashew Apples Edible?

Are Cashew Apples Edible

Cashew apples have the word apple in them, but there are certain trees that have apple in the name that aren’t edible such as crab apples.

So, I wanted to know whether cashew apples are edible, here’s what I found.

Cashew apples are edible.

They can be consumed the same as a regular apple.

Cashew apples are also only delicious when they are ripe.

If you consume unripe cashew apples they have a sour unpleasant taste.

You can prepare ripe cashew apples in any recipes that you use normal apples in, however, they do have a slight overly acidic aftertaste that begins to tingle your throat and tongue.

It’s a very similar sensation to pineapple.

Do Cashew Apples Taste Good?

Do Cashew Apples Taste Good

So, cashew apples are edible.

But, what do they taste like exactly and are they nice to eat?

Cashew apples are quite sweet and delicious.  They have a flavor similar to a normal apple.

Cashew apples are eaten raw, and can be juiced.

But can also be added to various dishes.

Cashew apples are also used to make fruit liqueurs, and to make vinegar.

An important thing to note about cashew apples is that the fruit juice stains your clothes.

Some people choose to simply chew the cashew apple flesh, suck out the juice, and spit out the flesh.

However, this reduces the amount of fiber that you get from the cashew apples.

Cashew Apple Benefits

Cashew Apple Benefits

As you may know, there are various foods which are considered superfoods that are a particularly good source of beneficial nutrients.

So, I looked at the nutritional benefits of cashew apples, to see how it compares to other foods.

Cashew apples are particularly high in fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium.

Fiber is good for maintaining good digestive health, and healthy levels of potassium, iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium are required to maintain optimum health.

Here’s a table that shows the levels of potassium, iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium in cashew apples as well as some other important nutrients:

Nutrient (per half cup) Percentage of recommended daily intake (RDI)
Iron 37%
Vitamin B-6 20%
Magnesium 73%
Potassium 18%
Calcium 3%
Vitamin C 0
Fiber 13%

From the data you can see that cashew apples are low in vitamin CVitamin C is known to be very good for your health.

It also has a somewhat low amount of calcium, however, this is about average for most fruits.

Most fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber and contain around 10% of your daily fiber needs.

Are Cashew Nuts Inflammatory?

Are Cashew Nuts Inflammatory

If you have aches and pains, eating foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory can help to alleviate the symptoms.

But, are cashew nuts inflammatory?

Cashew nuts are not inflammatory.

Fried foods, however, are considered inflammatory.

Certain dishes use fried cashew nuts such as in stir fry dishes.

This way of preparing cashew nuts is inflammatory and should be avoided.

But, provided you don’t eat too much of it, it should affect you much at all.

Nuts are considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory.  And cashew nuts are in this category.

The cashew apple is also a natural anti-inflammatory.

How do you know when a cashew apple is ripe?

Cashew apples are typically ripe when the skin turns a red color.

The cashew nut forms first and is green in color.

Above the nut the fruit develops and is yellow at first and then turns red, before turning pink.

It’s not light pink or dark pink, it’s in the middle.

What nuts are the healthiest?

What nuts are the healthiest

Cashew nuts are some of the most delicious nuts according to most people, but there are many in contention.

But, I was interested in what nuts are the healthiest.

Overall, are the healthiest.

However, all nuts are healthy to eat.

Nuts in general are a good source of fiber, protein, and beneficial nutrients such as vitamin B-6, magnesium, and iron.

Here’s a table that shows how the nutrients vary for some of the most common nuts you find in stores:

Nutrient Cashew nuts Almonds Pistachios Peanuts
Protein 18.22 g 21.15 g 20.16 g 25.80 g
Fat 43.85 g 49.93 g 45.32 g 49.24 g
Fiber 3.30 g 12.5 g 10.60 g 8.50 g

Cashew nuts have a lower than average amount of fiber.  However, this is usually fine provided you have a good amount of fruits and vegetables and other nuts that are higher in fiber.

Some nuts are extremely high in certain nutrients.

As a result, it’s recommended that you don’t consume more than around 100 g of any particular type of nut on any given day for a long period of time.

Otherwise, you will have higher than normal amounts of certain nutrients which over many years can lead to health issues.

For that reason, virtually all nutritionists recommend eating a balanced and diverse diet.

Are raw nuts better than roasted nuts?

Are raw nuts better than roasted nuts

There are various diets such as the paleo diet, and a raw food diet.

So, I wanted to know whether raw nuts are better than roasted nuts from a nutritional standpoint.

Raw nuts contain more beneficial nutrients and vitamins than roasted nuts.

Most people find roasted nuts much more delicious.  Roasting nuts is estimated to remove 10% to 15% of the nutrients and vitamins.

But, some nutrients are removed by as much as 50%.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to eat a mix of both raw and roasted nuts.

Raw nuts are ideal to eat because they have the most nutrients.

However, sometimes they can be difficult to find in stores, and growing them yourself can be problematic.

Roasted nuts are more popular, and so are more widely available.

How many salted nuts should you eat in a day?

How many salted nuts should you eat in a day

It’s possible to eat too much salt, and it’s also possible to eat not enough salt.

So, I was wondering whether salted nuts have too much salt.

Half a cup of salted nuts contains about 13% of your recommended daily sodium intake.

Therefore, it’s safe to eat approximately 5 cups of salted nuts per day.

However, this is far more than what a person could eat in a day. 

Salt really improves the flavor of nuts, and so it’s very good news that you can eat virtually as many salted nuts as you like.

However, it’s important to monitor the other foods you eat.  Certain kinds of meat can be high in salt.

And, barbequed and roasted meats often have large amounts of salt added to them to improve the flavor.

On days where you eat foods that are particularly high in salt, you may need to cut back on how many salted nuts you eat.

Are salted nuts unhealthy?

Are salted nuts unhealthy

Some foods can be high in calories, or have a high fat content.

Salted nuts are very delicious which makes me suspicious about whether they’re healthy or not.

So, I did some research about whether salted nuts are bad for you and here’s what I found.

Salted nuts are healthy for you.

The main concern with salted nuts is how much salt they have.

But, salted nuts contain only about 10% of your recommended daily salt intake.

But, it’s recommended not to consume more than about 1 cup of salted nuts per day.

The reason is that nuts have a very high amount of some nutrients.  Which can give your body too much. And therefore, eating more than that everyday long term can lead to health issues.

Certain health issues can be exacerbated by eating excess amounts of certain nutrients.

For example, some nuts are high in magnesium.

Eating a much higher amount of magnesium causes problems with people who have kidney issues (source).

However, if you are in excellent health and need to eat an excessive amount of nuts, for example if you get lost in the wilderness.

Then you should be perfectly fine surviving on nuts for an extended period of time.