10 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is a popular nondairy beverage made from whole cashews and water.
It has a creamy, rich consistency and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other beneficial plant compounds.
Available in unsweetened and sweetened varieties, cashew milk can replace cow’s milk in most recipes.
It may boost immunity and improve heart, eye, and skin health.
Here are 10 nutrition and health benefits of cashew milk.
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- Loaded With Nutrients
Cashew milk contains healthy fats, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Store-bought varieties may have different amounts of nutrients than homemade versions..
Commercial cashew milks are typically fortified with vitamins and minerals and have higher amounts of some nutrients, compared to homemade versions.
However, they generally provide less fat and protein and don’t include fiber. In addition, store-bought varieties may contain oils, preservatives, and added sugars.
Homemade cashew milks don’t need to be strained, which increases their fiber content.
They’re also packed with magnesium — a vital mineral for many body processes, including nerve function, heart health, and blood pressure regulation (4Trusted Source).
All cashew milks are naturally lactose-free and can replace cow’s milk for those who have trouble digesting dairy.
Homemade versions have less protein, calcium, and potassium than cow’s milk but more healthy unsaturated fats, iron, and magnesium (5Trusted Source).
SUMMARYCashew milk is loaded with nutrients, including unsaturated fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Homemade varieties are usually more nutritious, though store-bought types may be fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
- May Boost Heart Health
Studies have linked cashew milk to a lower risk of heart disease.
Cashew milk also contains potassium and magnesium — two nutrients that may boost heart health and prevent heart disease.
In a review of 22 studies, people with the highest potassium intake had a 24% lower risk of stroke (7Trusted Source).
However, store-bought cashew milk tends to be lower in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, as well as potassium and magnesium, than homemade varieties.
SUMMARYCashew milk contains heart-healthy unsaturated fats, potassium, and magnesium — all of which may help prevent heart disease.
- Good for Eye Health
These compounds may prevent cellular damage to your eyes caused by unstable molecules called free radicals (10Trusted Source).
One study found a significant association between low blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and poor retinal health (11Trusted Source).
Eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that causes vision loss.
Another study showed that people with the highest intake of lutein and zeaxanthin — and the highest predicted blood levels of these antioxidants — were 40% less likely to develop advanced AMD (12Trusted Source).
High blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin have also been linked to a 40% lower risk of age-related cataracts in older adults (13Trusted Source).
Since cashews are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, adding cashew milk to your diet may help prevent eye issues.
SUMMARYCashew milk contains antioxidants that may lower your risk of retinal damage, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.
- May Aid Blood Clotting
Not getting enough vitamin K can result in excessive bleeding.
Consuming foods rich in vitamin K, such as cashew milk, can help maintain sufficient levels of this protein.
However, an increased dietary vitamin K intake may decrease the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications (18Trusted Source).
If you’re taking blood-thinning medications, consult your healthcare provider before making changes to your diet.
SUMMARYCashew milk is rich in vitamin K, a nutrient vital to blood clotting. Thus, it may help you maintain adequate levels. If you’re on blood-thinning medications, consult with your healthcare provider before increasing your intake of vitamin-K-rich foods.
- May Improve Blood Sugar Control
Drinking cashew milk may help with blood sugar control — especially in people with diabetes.
Cashews contain compounds that may promote proper blood sugar control in your body.
One study found that a compound in cashews called anacardic acid stimulated the uptake of circulating blood sugar in rat muscle cells (19Trusted Source).
Research on a similar nut also containing anacardic acid found that extracts from the nut’s milk significantly decreased blood sugar levels in rats with type 2 diabetes (20Trusted Source).
In addition, cashew milk is lactose-free and therefore has fewer carbs than dairy. Using it in place of cow’s milk may help with blood sugar control in those with diabetes.
Still, more research is needed to better understand the benefits of cashew milk in managing diabetes.
SUMMARYCertain compounds in cashew milk may help with blood sugar control in people with diabetes, but more research is needed.
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- Good for Your Skin
Cashews are loaded with copper (3Trusted Source).
Therefore, milk derived from these nuts — especially the homemade kind — is rich in this mineral as well.
Copper plays a large role in the creation of skin proteins and is important for optimal skin health (21Trusted Source).
Maintaining optimal levels of collagen in your body promotes skin health, while inadequate collagen can lead to skin aging.
Consuming cashew milk and other copper-rich foods may boost your body’s natural production of collagen and keep your skin looking healthy and young.
SUMMARYSince cashew milk is high in copper, it may improve skin health by boosting collagen production in your body.
- May Have Anticancer Effects
Test-tube studies suggest that compounds in cashew milk may prevent the development of certain cancer cells.
One test-tube study found that anacardic acid stopped the spread of human breast cancer cells (26Trusted Source).
Another showed that anacardic acid enhanced the activity of an anticancer drug against human skin cancer cells (27Trusted Source).
Consuming cashew milk can provide your body with anacardic acid that may help prevent the growth of cancer cells.
However, current research is limited to test-tube studies. More studies — especially in humans — are needed to better understand the potential anticancer properties of cashews.
SUMMARYAnacardic acid found in cashews has been shown to stop the spread of certain cancer cells and enhance the effects of anticancer medications in test-tube studies. Still, more research in this area is needed.
- Boosts Immune Health
Cashews and milk derived from them are loaded with antioxidants and zinc (3Trusted Source).
This may help boost immunity.
Studies show that nuts may decrease the inflammatory response in your body and improve immunity, likely because they’re an excellent source of antioxidants and other compounds that fight inflammation and disease (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
In addition, your body uses zinc to create immune cells that help fight disease and infection. This mineral may also act as an antioxidant that can stop cell damage involved in inflammation and disease (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).
One study associated low blood levels of zinc with increased levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) (33Trusted Source).
The zinc in cashew milk may help decrease inflammation in your body and improve immunity.
SUMMARYCashew milk contains compounds like antioxidants and zinc that may fight inflammation and boost immunity.
- May Improve Iron-Deficiency Anemia
When your body doesn’t get enough iron, it can’t produce adequate amounts of the protein hemoglobin that helps red blood cells carry oxygen. This results in anemia and leads to fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, cold hands or feet, and other symptoms (34Trusted Source).
Therefore, getting enough iron from your diet is important for preventing or improving symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia.
Since cashew milk is high in iron, it may help you maintain adequate levels. However, your body better absorbs this type of iron when consumed with a source of vitamin C (36Trusted Source).
To increase your absorption of iron from cashew milk, try blending it in a smoothie with fresh strawberries or oranges that contain vitamin C.
SUMMARYCashew milk is loaded with iron and may prevent iron-deficiency anemia. To increase your absorption of iron from this nondairy milk, consume it with a source of vitamin C.
- Easily Added to Your Diet
Cashew milk is a versatile and healthy addition to your diet.
Since it’s free of lactose, it’s suitable for those who avoid dairy.
It can be used in place of cow’s milk in most recipes — including smoothies, baked goods, and cold or hot cereals. You can also add it to sauces to make them creamier or even use it to make ice cream.
What’s more, since cashew milk has a rich, creamy texture, it tastes delicious in coffee drinks, hot chocolate, or tea.
Keep in mind that even though it can be substituted for cow’s milk, cashew milk has a nuttier, sweeter taste.
SUMMARYYou can add cashew milk to smoothies, coffee drinks, cereals, baked goods, and many recipes. It’s available at most stores or you can make it at home.
You can add dates, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten, if desired. Other popular additions include sea salt, cocoa powder, or vanilla extract.
Unlike most other plant-based milks, you don’t have to strain cashew milk through a thin towel or cheesecloth.
You can keep your cashew milk in a glass jar or container in the fridge for up to three to four days. If it separates, simply shake before use.
The Bottom Line
Made from whole cashews and water, cashew milk is lactose-free and loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein, and several vitamins and minerals.
Drinking this type of milk may boost heart health, improve blood sugar control, promote eye health, and more.
13 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Cashew Milk Every Day
Benefits of Cashew milk include addition for a healthy diet, rich in nutrients, good for heart health, weight management, good for bone health, vital for good eye health, blood sugar control, anticancer effects, good for healthy brain function, boosts immune health, good for healthy skin, can prevent anemia, usage is versatile and is easily available.
With the increasing popularity of non-dairy products, cashew milk has become the most preferred product. Compared to other non-dairy products, cashew milk is creamier, sweeter and more versatile. The milk is high in B-vitamins. It is also rich in vitamin D and monounsaturated fatty acids. The milk also contains important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
Unlike other nut-sourced milk, cashew milk does not contain pulp, which means consumers get all the creamy deliciousness as it does not require straining. Besides, the milk can be used in various recipes that include coffee, tea, soups, mashed potatoes, smoothies, cereal, and salad dressing. Cashew milk is increasingly becoming popular among vegans and people who suffer from lactose intolerance. Here are 13 amazing health benefits of drinking Cashew
1. Versatile addition for a healthy diet
For those who cannot take animals milk for health or personal reasons, cashew milk is a perfect alternative as it does not contain lactose. Cashew milk can be used as an alternative to cow’s milk in most recipes including baked goods, smoothies, and hot or cold cereals.
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The milk can also be added into sauces to make them creamier. It is also increasingly being used to make ice cream, coffee drinks, tea drinks, and chocolate drinks thanks to its rich creamy texture. The milk is also readily available from most stores.
2. Rich in nutrients
The popularity of cashew milk is largely due to its nutrients that include protein, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins. However, it is important to note that homemade cashew milk can have varying amounts of nutrients compared to commercial cashew milk. It is also worth noting that commercial cashew milk products are usually fortified with minerals and vitamins resulting in higher amounts of different nutrients.
3. Good for heart health
Cashew milk contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which mean that consuming the milk will lead to good heart health as opposed to consuming products with less healthy ones. Studies have also shown that cashew milk contains magnesium and potassium, which play a vital role in boosting and preventing heart disease. In fact, studies have shown that intake of potassium can lower the risk of stroke by up to 24-percent.
Research has also found that cashew can help reduce the risk for many heart disease triggers including high blood pressure, obesity, and cholesterol. It is also beneficial on inflammation, oxidative stress levels, and vascular activity. Cashew milk also contains special phytosterol compounds that prevent the formation of plaque within the artery walls.
4. Weight management
People struggling with weight can greatly benefit by making cashew milk part of their daily diet. Studies have shown that cashew milk does not contribute to weight gain but it actually helps in weight management. Although cashews contain about 46-percent fat, they also contain other important minerals that help reverse weight gain.
The rich fiber can make you feel fuller reducing the need for unhealthy snacking and overeating. Furthermore, cashew milk is rich in plant-based protein particularly the L-arginine, which boosts vascular circulation and reactivity.
5. Good for bone health
Studies have established that cashew milk can protect against bone demineralization thanks to the high presence of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. The high presence of vitamin K also makes cashew milk a good bone-building element. In fact, single serving cashew milk can provide up to 12-percent of the daily vitamin K needs.
Making cashew milk part of your daily diet can help prevent deficiency in vitamin K. Furthermore, together with other essential nutrients like calcium, Vitamin K helps to maintain good bone health by supporting mineralization and maintenance of bone density. Good bone health is vital for general wellness as it reduces the risk of bone fractures.
6. Vital for good eye health
Since cashews contain zeaxanthin and lutein antioxidants, taking cashew milk on a regular basis can help cellular damage caused by free radicals in the eyes. Research has found that there is a link between poor retinal health and low levels of zeaxanthin and lutein in the blood.
Other studies have shown that consuming foods rich in zeaxanthin and lutein can help reduce the likeliness of developing macular degeneration (AMD), which can trigger vision loss. Researchers have also found that people with a high presence of zeaxanthin and lutein in their blood are 40-percent less likely to suffer from advanced AMD. Consuming high levels of antioxidants can also lead to a lower risk of cataracts in older people.
7. Blood sugar control
Studies have shown that drinking cashew milk can be beneficial to people suffering from diabetes. One of the ingredients of cashew milk is the anacardic acid that is vital in stimulating the uptake of circulating blood sugar resulting in better blood sugar control in the body. Furthermore, cashew milk is a better alternative for people suffering from diabetes as it does not contain lactose.
8. Anticancer effects
Studies have shown that cashew milk can help prevent the development of some cancer cells. The anacardic acid, which is an effective antioxidant, helps to protect the body from high levels of damage caused by free radicals.
The free radicals are highly harmful to body cells and can cause oxidative stress, which can trigger cell mutation, DNA damage and the formation of a cancerous tumor. Research has shown that regularly consuming cashew products can help prevent some cancers that include prostate, colon, skin, breast, and liver.
9. Good for healthy brain function
The brain highly relies on healthy fatty acids as it is mostly made up of fat. Cashew nuts are a major source of natural-plant based fat. Taking cashew milk on a regular basis can help aid in healthy aging, cognitive function and even regulation of mood. The nutrients of cashew milk can help support multiple brain processes and cognitive abilities by controlling membrane fluidity, synaptic transmission, and neurotransmitter pathways.
The cashew milk nutrients that greatly contribute to good brain function include healthy fats, iron, copper and zinc, which are present in high content. It is also worth noting that the deficiency of healthy PUFA and MUFA fatty acids can lead to a higher risk of suffering mental disorders such as anxiety, dyslexia, ADHD, and dementia.
10. Boosts immune health
Milk derived from cashews is loaded with zinc and antioxidants, which may help boost immunity. Since cashew milk is rich in antioxidants, studies have shown that it can help reduce the inflammation in the body resulting in improved immunity.
Furthermore, zinc, which is a major nutrient of cashew milk can help the body create immune cells that fight infections and diseases. Research has shown that there is a relation between low levels of zinc in the blood and increased presence of inflammatory markers like the C-reactive protein (CRP).
11. Good for healthy skin
Copper is a major component of cashew milk. Therefore, taking cashew milk on a regular basis offers the benefits of consuming copper including the creation of skin proteins for optimal skin health. It also helps in regulating the production of elastin and collagen, two of the essential proteins that contribute to skin strength and elasticity.
Skin experts encourage individuals to maintain high levels of collagen to ensure good skin. It is also proven that inadequate collagen in the body can trigger rapid skin aging. Making cashew milk part of your daily diet will not only enhance the natural production of collagen but it will also help to keep your skin young and healthy.
12. Can prevent anemia
If the body cannot get adequate iron, it will not be able to create enough hemoglobin necessary for transportation of oxygen in the blood. Inadequate supply of iron is associated with dizziness, fatigue, cold hands, cold feet, shortness of breath and in severe cases anemia among other symptoms.
A study on women found that those with low iron intake are six times more likely to develop anemia compared to those with adequate iron consumption. Therefore, a proven way of ensuring an adequate supply of iron is making cashew milk part of your daily diet.
13. Its usage is versatile and is easily available
Since cashew milk does not contain lactose, it is suitable for those who cannot take dairy milk. It is also a healthy and versatile addition to any diet. It is also easy to make cashew milk at home. To make cashew milk, you need to blend about 130 grams of soaked cashews with about 3 to 4 cups of water until smooth.