Move over peanut butter – cashew butter is the hot new nut butter on the scene with some impressive health benefits that are sure to have you reaching for the spoon!
Find out all you need to know about cashew butter’s health status, including nutritional information and 8 healthy benefits, as well as 7 ways to use it.
Cashew butter is a food spread made from roasted or baked cashew nuts.
This creamy concoction has been around for a while already, serving as part of US civil defence survival kits during the cold war.
But now (thanks, in part, to better production methods) it has upgraded its ration status to luxury.
It has shot straight back up to nut butter fame, not only for its naturally rich, sweet, and creamy taste but also for its remarkable nutritional benefits.
You’ll most likely find it in creamy sauces, nutty salad dressings, rich cakes and bakes, or simply slathered over thick, wholemeal bread.
Without further ado, here are 8 top benefits of cashew butter and why you should pick some up on your next trip to the supermarket!
First things first, cashew butter is absolutely brimming with important nutrients that our bodies need to thrive.
Here are the approximate nutrition values for a 28g1 serving of plain cashew butter:
|Value||Percent Daily Values*|
|Of which sugars||1.4g||n/a|
|Of which saturates||1.6g||8%|
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
As you can see, a small serving of cashew butter packs an impressive bunch of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals.
This tasty spread is particularly rich in folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese – all of which help our bodies function normally:
Adding a spoonful or two to your daily diet could help you hit your nutrition targets.
Fat has been given a bad name – and it’s true that some fats can be bad for you, but cashew nut butter is full of the good stuff.
A single 28g serving of cashew butter contains 13.8g of fat, with just 1.6g of saturated fat (the type we should limit).
That means that the remaining 12.2g of fat are the healthy unsaturated kind that help keep us feeling full and provide our body with a rich energy source – including our brain.4
It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are linked to brain and heart health. In fact, people who eat diets high in nuts, including cashews, are less at risk of heart disease than those who don’t.5,6
Having high cholesterol levels in the body can block your blood vessels, which increases your risk of developing heart problems or having a stroke.7
Due to their healthy fat content, cashew nuts are thought to lower the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body and increase the ‘good’ cholesterol.8
Protein is vital for our health – no matter if you’re a gym lover or an exercise dodger. Cashew butter is an excellent source of healthy plant protein, with an impressive 4.9g of protein per 28g serving (making it 17.5% protein).
Our bodies use protein to maintain normal muscle mass, healthy hair and skin, and promote healthy wound healing. It’s particularly important if you are trying to get stronger and increase muscle mass; we need it to repair tears in the muscle, which is an essential process in muscle and strength building.
Scooping a serving into your protein shake, morning bowl of oats, or stir fry, can instantly boost the protein content as well as give them a delicious creamy texture and taste.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is key, especially if you want to avoid developing conditions like diabetes.9
Cashew nut butter and raw cashew nuts could help you maintain a normal blood sugar level and may even help you reduce them if they are already high.
A study from 2018 showed that people with diabetes who consumed cashew nuts every day generally had a lower blood sugar levels than participants who didn’t.10
Like many other nuts, nut butters and seeds, cashew butter is high in antioxidants.
These useful compounds help to keep your body healthy by reducing the oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
This can help reduce inflammation in the body and help reduce the risk of some diseases.11
Don’t listen to the people who rule out nuts and seeds due to their high calorie and fat content when trying to lose weight.
Although it’s true that eating too much cashew butter or similar products could make you gain weight, eating small portions of these foods is considered part of a healthy diet and could even help you lose weight.
Some research has linked diets rich in nuts to weight loss and overall lower body weight than diets that completely leave them out.12
It is estimated that the body only digests around 84% of calories from a cashew. This may be because some of the fats in cashew remain fibrous and are not digested normally.13
One of the best things about cashew butter is that it is incredibly versatile and tends to stay fresh for a long time.
It’s great for any time of day and can be a refreshing alternative to peanut butter at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve listed some of our favourite ways to use it below.
Cashew nut butter can be used in a variety of exciting ways – trust us, it’s not just for spreading on your toast. Here are some of our favourite ways to use this scrummy nut butter.
You can use cashew butter however you please, but here’s some inspiration:
Instead of using boring old peanut butter, try cashew butter in your favoured peanut butter cookie recipe for a special twist.
Give your classic bakes a sweet, nutty edge with cashew butter – it works wonderfully in gooey brownies.
Love satay sauce? Swap peanut butter for cashew butter to spice it up a little. It also works well in creamy pasta sauces, stir-fries like Pad Thai and Asian-inspired dipping sauces for dumplings.
If you’re bored of using the same old salad dressings (we see you olive oil and balsamic!) try mixing cashew butter with lime, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Cashew butter makes a gorgeous alternative to plain old butter – we recommend using it on thick, wholemeal toast.
Love a classic peanut butter and jam sandwich? Try cashew butter to mix it up a little.
We get it, sometimes only the jar will do, and cashew nut butter will not let you down.
Both cashew butter and almond butter are considered very healthy and nutritious, but there are some differences in their nutrition makeup.
The main differences between almond butter and cashew butter are that cashew butter has more protein and less calories, whereas almond butter has more calcium and less saturated fat.
Our verdict: give them both a go and see which you like best – or just enjoy both.
Cashew butter tends to be expensive because cashews are expensive to process in the first place, and then you have to add on the cost of making them into a tasty, creamy butter.
Cashew butter is considered safe for most people unless they have a cashew allergy or intolerances.
Although they aren’t technically nuts, people with nut allergies tend to have a higher risk of being allergic to cashews.14
You’re not likely to experience any side effects from eating cashew butter – except a potential addiction to the yummy stuff!
Like with most foods, overconsumption of cashews can sometimes come with some mild side effects, including:
But these are rarely attributed to just cashew butter, so don’t worry too much.
Not a fan of cashew butter or cashews in general? The good news is that there are lots of other nut and seed butters on the market for you to choose from, including:
So, is cashew nut butter healthy? It’s a resounding yes from us!
Here’s a quick re-cap:
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Last updated: 23 February 2022