cashews for lowering blood pressure naturallyFood and Diet

A Handful of Cashews for Better Heart Health

What should I eat if my BP is high? (BP = blood pressure)

If you do a basic Google search about how people with hypertension should be eating, there’s a lot of “Don’t eat this”, “Avoid that”, “Eat less of those” and so on. In the journey to lower blood pressure naturally, it is definitely important to pay attention to what to avoid. However, it can also be fun to talk about: what we CAN eat for a change! Today, I want to talk about a yummy snack that is good for lowering blood pressure naturally (among the many other health benefits too!)

The humble cashew.

The cashew is a nutritional superhero! There’s literature all over the internet about it but to summarize a few of its many health benefits, here are a few points taken directly from WebMD and Harvard Health:

Health Benefits of Eating Cashews

  • A small serving of cashews each day can lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol
  • High magnesium content of cashews lowers risk of ischemic heart disease (when the heart doesn’t get enough blood)
  • High magnesium content of cashews lowers risk of strokes; especially hemorrhagic strokes (weak blood vessel breaks and causes blood to spill into the brain tissue
  • Prevent diabetes or improve management because cashews are low in carbs compared to other frequently consumed snacks
  • High magnesium content of cashews can lower blood pressure naturally, because magnesium plays a role in helping blood vessels to relax

Cashews are, however, high in calories due to their fat content. So to reap the most benefits from this delicious snack, eat it in moderation. How much do I eat a day? Approximately a small handful, maybe sometimes 2 small handfuls, divided up into 2 different snack sessions.

VERY Important Tip: Watch out for added salt and cashews roasted in oils!

  • Look for “no salt added” cashews. Look at the list of ingredients on the package and if salt is listed, put it back down! Since lowering blood pressure naturally is the goal here, it’s good to avoid any extra sodium from added salt.
  • Look for “dry roasted” cashews. It usually says so on the package name. You can confirm by looking in the ingredient list; dry roasted cashews don’t have any oils listed as ingredients. This helps to avoid addition of unhealthy oils that may be used in roasting.
  • Product recommendation: This is my absolute most favorite dry roasted unsalted cashew product. You can also find lots of other different brands online! Yay internet!

Okay I’m going to go enjoy my handful of dry roasted, unsalted cashews! Yum! By the way, if you don’t want to snack on cashews plain, here are 3 other ways to enjoy them! Do you like cashews? How do you like to enjoy them?

References:

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-cashews#1

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/key-minerals-to-help-control-blood-pressure

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2 replies »

  1. Interesting idea for a blog Diana – and some excellent points about do’s vs don’ts. curious tho. You mention cashews but I thought almonds were a preferred snack for heart. Do you recommend them as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a great question! I absolutely recommend almonds as a preferred heart healthy snack; another nutritional superstar (as long as you’re mindful of choosing no salt added and raw or dry roasted. I tend to eat cashews more because I find them softer for my teeth. When I do consume almonds, I will sometimes throw a small handful into my smoothies! They go so nicely in a smoothie with oatmilk, vanilla extract and frozen bananas. Thank you for stopping by and for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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