Protein is an important nutrient that contributes to your overall health. It gives you energy, fills you up, and curbs your appetite.
Because of that, it’s important to include a lot of high-protein foods in your diet, even when snacking.
Cashews are some of the most common nuts that people consume, especially as a snack. Just like all nuts, they do contain protein, but are they rich in it? Are cashews a good source of this nutrient?
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Are cashews a good source of protein?
While eating cashews can’t fully fulfill your daily recommended need for protein, they are still a good source of this nutrient, even in a small serving. So, you can consider them a high-protein food.
Aside from the protein, cashews provide you with a lot of important vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats, which are important for your health. So, adding these delicious nuts to your diet is a great idea.
How much protein is in cashews?
A one-ounce serving of cashews contains 4.3 g of protein. This corresponds to around 9% of your daily recommended need for this nutrient.
In most cases, people consume even more than just an ounce of cashews. So, you’re more likely to get even more.
Most of the calories in cashews come from fat, then carbohydrates, and very few from protein.
While that might seem like cashews aren’t a good source of protein, they’re actually a high-protein nut that can be a great addition to your diet.
In addition, while cashews are not a complete protein, they contain almost all nine essential amino acids required to be considered a complete protein.
So, if you include them in your diet along with other healthy foods, you can create a healthy complete protein profile.
Are cashews good for you?
Just like all types of nuts, cashews are very nutritionally balanced. They contain calories from each macronutrient but mostly from fat.
While this might worry some people, cashews are actually high in unsaturated fats.
This category of fats is connected with a lower risk of premature death and heart disease. As a result, eating cashews can lower your risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.
Cashews are loaded with various minerals. The most abundant one is copper, as just an ounce contains 31% of your daily need.
Copper helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, immune function, and nerves. Together with iron, it also helps your body form red blood cells.
Ensuring you get enough copper from your diet can also lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
What’s more, even just one ounce of cashews provides you with 18% of your daily recommended need for magnesium. This mineral boosts exercise performance, is an important electrolyte and promotes heart health.
Getting enough magnesium is also associated with a stronger immune system. So, eating cashews can also prevent various viral infections.
Many people these days suffer from mineral deficiencies. So, including mineral-rich foods like cashews in your diet can help prevent that.
Nuts like cashews also contain powerful plant compounds, especially antioxidants. These help flush out free radicals from your body, preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells.
Thanks to that, you’re at a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Cashews are also low in sugar but high in heart-healthy fats and protein. So, according to research, eating cashews can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
Research says that cashews don’t cause spikes in your blood sugar levels and help with insulin control.
Cashews are also rather filling, so you’re more likely to consume fewer calories, reducing the negative effects of carbs on your sugar levels.
Can you get enough protein by eating cashews?
Cashews don’t contain enough protein to fulfill your daily need for this nutrient.
On average, healthy adults require anywhere between 46 to 56 g of protein a day. This amount differs depending on your activity levels, gender, and other factors, so it can be higher or lower than that.
Seeing as one ounce of dry-roasted cashews provides you with 4.3 g of protein, eating this type of nuts isn’t enough to get enough protein each day.
Because of that, make sure to include a wide variety of high-protein foods, whether you follow a plant-based diet or not.
Is cashew milk a good source of protein?
A glass of cashew milk contains 1.1 g of protein. Because of that, it’s not a very good source of this nutrient. It does provide you with a good amount of calcium and iron, though.
Cashew milk is much lower in protein than cashews because you’re not getting the same plant compounds and other parts of cashews from cashew milk.
This type of milk is made by filtering cashews, so a lot of nutrients and minerals are lost.
So, it can still be a part of a healthy diet, but you should add more protein-rich foods to your diet as well.
Is cashew butter a good source of protein?
Just one tablespoon of cashew butter contains 2.8 g of protein, around 6% of your daily recommended need.
This amount makes cashew butter a very good source of protein. What’s more, people often consume cashew butter in larger quantities.
So, you can get even more protein than that, filing up your need even more.
In addition, cashew butter contains a lot of magnesium, copper, and manganese, so you can also load up on these micronutrients.
In spite of all these benefits, remember that, just like cashews, cashew butter is very high in calories. So, make sure not to overdo it, as it can lead to weight gain.
Cashews, and most cashew-based products, make for a great source of protein. They provide you with a good dose in a single serving, so you can eat them to up your intake of this nutrient.
Aside from protein, cashews are also rich in various minerals and healthy fats that help prevent various health issues.
So, it’s a great idea to include some cashews in a healthy, balanced diet.
Sources: Nutrition Data, Harvard Health, National Library of Medicine, and PMC