When You Eat Cashews Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Gut – Health Digest

When You Eat Cashews Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Gut - Health Digest

A healthy gut means more than making sure your food properly digests without bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. According to UCLA Health, 70% of your immune system can be found in your gut as your immune cells work with the bacteria in your gut. That means your gut microbiome can influence your risk of chronic diseases. Most of your serotonin receptors are located in your gut, which means poor gut health can be linked with mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

You’ll also need prebiotics found in fiber-rich foods like beans and vegetables. Prebiotics remain undigested until they reach your gut and feed your good bacteria. One class of prebiotics is galacto-oligosaccharides, and cashews are rich in these gut-feeding nutrients. Improving your gut health requires taking a look at what’s in your grocery cart. Processed foods, foods high in sugar and fat, red meat, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners can destroy the good bacteria in your gut and affect the diversity of your microbiome. So, replacing one of these items with a bag of cashews will take you one step closer to good gut health.

Cashews help good bacteria

You’ll only find less than a gram of fiber in 1 ounce of cashews, but there’s something unique about the fiber that improves your gut microbiome. A 2023 article looked closely at how different fibers in nuts influenced levels of microbiota and their byproducts, short-chain fatty acids (via the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry). The fibers in cashews supported the growth of good bacteria and promoted more production of butyrate, which supports digestive health and controls inflammation. Cashew fibers also had a higher ratio of soluble fiber to total fiber and a unique composition of monosaccharides to support gut health.

A 2024 study investigated the benefits of eating cashews on gut health and obesity (via the Journal of Nutrition). A group of women ate a combination of cashews and Brazil nuts as part of a diet for eight weeks to see the effect on their gut health. The women who ate nuts had an increased amount of the beneficial fatty acid called propionic acid. They also had more good bacteria like Ruminococcus and Roseburia in their gut. These changes in gut health were linked to lower body fat and reduced markers of inflammation.

Cashew apples can improve your gut health

Cashews are seeds from a cashew tree that grow on the outside of a cashew apple. These cashew apples are called the false fruit and are often tossed for the delicious cashew seeds. According to a 2023 article, almost 37 million tons of cashew apples are produced each year, yet just 3.5% of the apples are sold for their nutritional value (via the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition). Cashew apples are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds.

A 2021 article said that the cashew apple is also good for your gut health (via Current Microbiology). The researchers simulated the digestive process in the lab to see what the cashew apples do in the gut. Cashew apples boosted the beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus/Enterococcus bacteria while reducing the more harmful Bacteroides/Prevotella and certain strains of Clostridium. The dietary fiber, fructans, and phenolic compounds found in cashew apples also create more short-chain fatty acids to benefit the gut.

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