Raw Cashews Benefits

Raw cashews in a bowl on a wooden table
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If you've been avoiding nuts due to their high calorie and fat content, reconsider adding them to your diet. Though a single ounce of raw cashews contains 155 calories, a diet rich in nuts may actually aid in weight control, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. Opt for raw cashew nuts to boost your nut intake, and you'll enjoy several health benefits because of their rich mineral content.

Rich in Iron

Raw cashews provide beneficial iron. Your body needs iron to produce heme -- the active component of the protein hemoglobin, which is essential for oxygen transport. Getting enough iron in your diet also supports your immune system, and iron helps your white blood cells destroy infectious agents. Each 1-ounce portion of raw cashews provides 1.87 milligrams of iron -- roughly 11 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 23 percent for men.

Copper and Zinc

Add raw cashews to your diet and you'll also reap the benefits of their zinc and copper content. Zinc activates hundreds of proteins within your body, including proteins needed for healthy cell growth and a robust immune system. Consume an ounce of raw cashews to boost your zinc intake by 1.62 milligrams -- 20 percent of the recommended daily zinc intake for women and 15 percent for men. The copper in raw cashews helps your body process iron, aids in the production of energy and strengthens your blood vessels. An ounce of raw cashews also offers 615 micrograms of copper, which is 68 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and men.

Manganese for Metabolism

Raw cashews also offer health benefits thanks to their manganese content. Each ounce of raw cashews offers 0.463 milligram of manganese. This provides one-fifth of the daily manganese intake recommended for men, and 26 percent for women. Manganese supports your metabolism -- it helps you process cholesterol, proteins and fats -- and helps you make proteins needed for wound healing. Low manganese levels are linked with poor control over blood sugar, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, which means consuming enough manganese is especially important if you suffer from diabetes.

Consuming More Cashews

Raw cashews have a subtler flavor than their roasted counterparts, so they're great for adding creamy texture to your dishes without overpowering other flavors. Soak raw cashews in water overnight and then use them in pureed soups -- they work especially well in roasted cauliflower and onion soup, or a carrot orange and ginger soup. Alternatively, add soaked raw cashews to your smoothie to add creamy texture without having to use high-fat dairy, which contains saturated fat. And of course, you can also enjoy raw cashews as a snack on their own.