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Is cashew butter healthy

cashew butter
Cashew butter is a relatively new nut butter on the block, but is it healthy? Discover 8 health benefits of cashew butter and how to use it here.

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.

What is cashew butter?

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.

8 benefits of cashew butter

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!

  1. Highly nutritious

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* 
Calories 164kcal 5%
Carbohydrates 7.7g 1%
Of which sugars 1.4g n/a
Fat 13.8g 12%
Of which saturates 1.6g 8%
Protein  4.9g 6%
Folic acid 10.9mcg 3%
Pantothenic acid 0.2mg 2%
Calcium 6.9mg 1%
Iron 0.8mg 4%
agnesium 41.3mg 10%
Phosphorus 73.1mg 7%
Potassium 87.4mg 2%
Zinc 0.mg 6%
Copper 0.4mg 18%
Manganese 0.1mg 7%
Selenium 1.8mcg 3%

*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:

  • Copper supports brain development, growth, immune system function, and blood clot formation
  • Phosphorus helps maintain bones and teeth
  • Manganese helps the body perform chemical reactions, like converting food into energy
  • Magnesium supports the thyroid gland – which produces a lot of the hormones we need, especially the one’s responsible for energy metabolism.2,3

Adding a spoonful or two to your daily diet could help you hit your nutrition targets.

  1. Full of healthy fats

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

  1. Could help lower cholesterol

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

  1. Great source of protein

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.

  1. May help lower blood sugar

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

  1. A great source of antioxidants

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

  1. Could help you lose weight

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

  1. Easy to add to your diet

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.

What is cashew butter good for?

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.

7 ways to use cashew butter

You can use cashew butter however you please, but here’s some inspiration:

1

Cookies

Instead of using boring old peanut butter, try cashew butter in your favoured peanut butter cookie recipe for a special twist.

2

Cakes

Give your classic bakes a sweet, nutty edge with cashew butter – it works wonderfully in gooey brownies.

3

Sauces

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.

4

Salad dressings

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.

5

On toast

Cashew butter makes a gorgeous alternative to plain old butter – we recommend using it on thick, wholemeal toast.

6

In sandwiches

Love a classic peanut butter and jam sandwich? Try cashew butter to mix it up a little.

7

Straight out of the jar

We get it, sometimes only the jar will do, and cashew nut butter will not let you down.

Which is healthier almond butter or cashew butter?

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.

Why is cashew butter so expensive?        

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.

Is cashew butter suitable for everyone?

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

4 potential side effects of cashew butter

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:

  1. Constipation
  2. Bloating
  3. Joint swelling
  4. Weight gain

But these are rarely attributed to just cashew butter, so don’t worry too much.

What can I use instead of cashew butter?

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:

  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Hazelnut butter
  • Macadamia nut butter
  • Pistachio butter
  • Pecan butter
  • Walnut butter
  • Pumpkin seed butter
  • Soybean butter
  • Sesame seed butter (aka tahini)
  • Chickpea butter – a fancy way of saying hummus

The final say

So, is cashew nut butter healthy? It’s a resounding yes from us!

Here’s a quick re-cap:

  • Cashew butter is a spread made out of cashew nuts with a sweet, creamy and rich flavour
  • Each serving of cashew butter packed with nutrients like healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals
  • It is particularly rich in copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium, which serve different important functions in the body
  • Including cashew butter in your diet could help support your heart, brain, muscles, energy metabolism, hormone production, and blood sugar levels, and could even help you lose weight
  • You can use it in a variety of different ways, including baking cookies and cakes, and making sauces and dressings

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

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