Although walnuts might be the best nuts for pregnancy, cashew nuts are good for pregnancy, too. They satisfy cravings for sweet food without adding a ton of calories, fat, or sugar. Moreover, they are rich in essential nutrients like protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium.
Nuts like cashews, walnuts, and butternuts contain omega-3 fatty acids. Although cashews have less than walnuts and butternuts, they still have a positive effect on a baby’s development. For example, one study shows that eating cashews may help babies develop a healthy brain and nervous system (1).
The recommended value of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy is 650 mg. You’d have to eat a lot of cashews – more than would be healthy – to reach that goal. But you can also supplement with fish oil and occasionally eat seafood, vegetable oils, and algae to get what you need (2).
As long as you’re not allergic, nuts are an excellent source of mono and polyunsaturated fats for a strong cardiovascular system for both the baby and mama. Cashews have other benefits, too.
- 1 The benefits of cashew nuts
- 2 Side effects of cashew nuts during pregnancy
- 3 What nuts to avoid during pregnancy?
- 3.1 Cashews, Unroasted and Unsalted, 365 by Whole Foods Market
- 3.2 Cashews Dry Roasted & Unsalted Organic, 365 by Whole Foods Market
- 3.3 Sample Flavors Variety Pack Cashews by Karma Nuts
- 3.4 Once Again Organic Creamy Cashew Butter
- 3.5 Pacific Foods Cashew Unsweetened Original Plant-Based Beverage
- 3.6 Forager Project, Organic Plain Cashewmilk Yogurt Alternative
- 3.7 MIYOKOS CREAMERY Organic Plainly Classic Cashew Cream Cheese
- 4 Conclusion
The benefits of cashew nuts
Cashews grow on trees in Brazil, Africa, and Asia. Throughout history, these nuts have been prized for treating high cholesterol, gastrointestinal problems, skin issues, and heart disease. What’s more, cashews are naturally antibacterial (3).
As mentioned before, cashew nuts also provide protein, potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. They have a little bit of fiber as well.
Cashews are tasty raw or roasted. They are versatile ingredients for cooking as they can go on salads, be mixed with granola or yogurt, or taste great in baked goods. A quick search turns up various chicken dishes that include cashews, too.
If you’re having trouble keeping food down due to morning sickness, try munching on a few cashews at a time. A quarter-cup portion provides 150 calories.
Side effects of cashew nuts during pregnancy
However, if you have gestational diabetes, eating lots of cashew nuts can mess with your blood sugar levels. Please speak to your doctor or nutritionist about adding cashews to your diet.
If you really like cashews (like us), it’s hard to hold back and not eat too many. If you overdo it, cashews contribute to constipation and bloating. We found that putting them in a snack container keeps us from finishing the whole bag in one sitting.
If you are allergic to other types of nuts, it might be wise to avoid cashews.
What nuts to avoid during pregnancy?
Cashew nuts are safe during pregnancy as are other types of dry nuts. The only problem would be if you as the mother were allergic to them. The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer says for pregnant or nursing women to avoid eating peanuts or other nuts.
If all this talk of delicious snack food has made your tummy grumble, let’s look at the best cashew nuts and cashew nut-derived products now.
Cashews, Unroasted and Unsalted, 365 by Whole Foods Market
It’s generally safe to eat raw cashews during pregnancy. Although any type of raw nuts might contain fungi or bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, the chances are remote. Purchase from reputable brands and make sure the nuts aren’t past the freshness date to avoid problems.
We love these cashews from Whole Foods Market. This is a brand with high standards for healthy and safe food. Furthermore, the nuts are GMO-free and Kosher. They have no added salt, oil, or sugar.
The nuts come in a 24-ounce resealable bag. One serving is one ounce or a quarter cup. The raw cashews have 150 calories per serving, with 8 g of carbohydrates, 7 g of monounsaturated fat, 2 g of polyunsaturated fat, and no trans fat at all. Although they have less than 1 g of fiber, they provide 5 g of protein.
Enjoy the cashews on salads and cereal or snack on them by themselves.
Cashews Dry Roasted & Unsalted Organic, 365 by Whole Foods Market
Which dry nuts are good during pregnancy besides cashews? Walnuts are highly recommended, too. But today, we are focusing on cashews and it’s really hard to resist the dry roasted ones. They taste sweeter and richer and feel crunchier. Oddly, roasted cashews also contain more calories and slightly more fat and carbohydrates. Why?
It’s because when nuts are roasted, it changes their chemical composition. The process also releases moisture so the nuts are a little drier and crunchier. Therefore, roasted cashews weigh less than raw cashews and this alters the nutritional content per ounce. So, don’t panic. If you choose dry roasted nuts that aren’t cooked in oil, they are still a healthy snack during pregnancy. You might find them even more delicious than raw cashews.
The nutritional facts (for a 2,000 calorie diet) show that these certified organic cashews provide 20% of the daily value of magnesium for a total of 80 mg. They offer 15% of the daily value of zinc, 10% of iron, and 4% of potassium. A single serving has 170 calories, which is a good energy boost for a healthy snack.
Sample Flavors Variety Pack Cashews by Karma Nuts
Plain and roasted cashews aren’t the only options. You can also snack on flavored cashews with cocoa, coconut, turmeric, cinnamon, and sea salt. It’s a good thing they come in snack-size packs because it’s hard to stop eating them!
The sweet, spicy, and salty cashews also taste great in homemade trail mix, cookies, and salads. Not only are they vegan and gluten-free, but they are also Kosher and minimally processed. They are air-roasted for the perfect buttery taste and crispy texture. Folks on the keto diet can enjoy them, too.
Once Again Organic Creamy Cashew Butter
Raw and roasted cashews aren’t the only options. Did you know that cashew butter is a thing? It’s like peanut butter with a creamy, smooth texture.
It starts with certified organic cashews that are dry-roasted and ground into a smooth powder. The powder is mixed with a small amount of expeller-pressed sunflower oil for the perfect amount of spreadability. At no time are preservatives, sugar, or salt added.
It’s interesting to compare the cashew butter nutritional information to regular peanut butter. One serving is 2 tablespoons and it has 190 calories. It provides 5 g of protein and 8 grams of carbs, but some of those carbs are dietary fiber. Also, it contains no cholesterol, sodium, or trans fats.
If you’re curious, the nuts are ethically harvested in Brazil, Vietnam, and Africa. You can double-check this claim with the Honest in Trade website. The manufacturer, Once Again, is owned and operated by its employees. And once the cashew butter is ready, it’s packed in recyclable glass.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the butter is made in a facility that also processes soy, tree nuts, and sesame.
Pacific Foods Cashew Unsweetened Original Plant-Based Beverage
Cashew milk is a low-fat low-calorie alternative to plain nuts. We’ve tried soy, rice, almond, oat, coconut, and hemp milk over the years. One of our favorites is cashew milk. Not only is it keto-friendly, but it’s also creamy and mild-flavored. Even though it’s unsweetened, it’s not bitter.
Cashew milk isn’t just for drinking. You can put it on cereal, make ice cream with it, or bake with it. It’s vegan and contains no gluten, soy, dairy, or carrageenan. It’s even made with certified organic and Fair Trade cashews raised with sustainable growing practices.
A one-cup serving only contains 50 calories and only 2 g of carbohydrates. It even provides 4% of the daily value of calcium.
It comes packed in a shelf-stable carton that only needs to be refrigerated after it’s open. Then you have up to a week to ten days to finish it. Be sure to give it a good shake before pouring it.
Forager Project, Organic Plain Cashewmilk Yogurt Alternative
If you can drink cashew milk and eat cashew butter, why not try cashew yogurt? We’ve eaten soy yogurt before and liked it, so it was natural to try this other dairy-free alternative. We selected the plain version so we could make smoothies with it and mix it with granola. However, you can also get other flavors like blueberry.
The unflavored cashew milk yogurt has no added sugar, lactose, sweeteners, flavors, or gluten. It’s non-GMO, kosher, and obviously vegan. Plus, it features 5 live active cultures of probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
The other ingredients are filtered water, tapioca starch, coconut cream, and locust bean gum for a smooth and creamy texture. One serving is 5.3 ounces with 110 calories, 3 g of protein, and 7 g of healthy fat. Of course, it contains no cholesterol, trans fat, or sodium, and only 9 g of carbs including dietary fiber.
MIYOKOS CREAMERY Organic Plainly Classic Cashew Cream Cheese
Up to this point, we’ve loved every cashew and cashew product we tried. But we struggled a little bit with cashew cream cheese. Not to worry, it’s dairy-free, with no lactose. You can spread it on bagels, make a 7-layer dip with it, and bake with it.
Our hangup lies in the fact that it’s a bit tangy. It’s not quite sour cream, but it doesn’t have a traditional cream cheese flavor either. On the bright side, once we adapted to it, it tastes fantastic on whole-wheat crackers.
It’s made with organic cashew milk, organic coconut cream, sea salt, and cultures to make the cheese. As a result, each one-ounce serving has only 90 calories, significantly less than a 1-ounce serving of raw cashews. Moreover, it provides 3 g of protein with only 4 g of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat. There are no added salt, sugar, or preservatives. Happily, it even provides 6% of the daily value of iron and 2% of the daily value of potassium.
Cashew nuts are a delicious and nutritious contribution to a healthy diet that helps both mama and baby during pregnancy. Whether you prefer them raw or roasted or made into milk, cream cheese, or yogurt, cashews are packed with nutrients.
We hope this article inspired you to try something new today. If you’re enjoying any of the cashew products we included, we’d love to hear about your experience. Feel free to leave us a comment below.
|Healthy cashew snacks during pregnancy
|Why we love them
|Cashews, Unroasted and Unsalted, 365 by Whole Foods Market
|Cashews Dry Roasted & Unsalted Organic, 365 by Whole Foods Market
|Sample Flavors Variety Pack Cashews by Karma Nuts
|Once Again Organic Creamy Cashew Butter
|Pacific Foods Cashew Unsweetened Original Plant-Based Beverage
|Forager Project, Organic Plain Cashewmilk Yogurt Alternative
|MIYOKOS CREAMERY Organic Plainly Classic Cashew Cream Cheese
1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28663041/ de Melo MFFT, Pereira DE, Sousa MM, Medeiros DMF, Lemos LTM, Madruga MS, Santos NM, de Oliveira MEG, de Menezes CC, Soares JKB. Maternal intake of cashew nuts accelerates reflex maturation and facilitates memory in the offspring. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2017 Oct;61:58-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Jun 27. PMID: 28663041.
2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-10/cashew Cashew – Uses, Side Effects, and More
3. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/202473/ Juliana Rombaldi Bernardi, Renata de Souza Escobar, Charles Francisco Ferreira, Patrícia Pelufo Silveira, “Fetal and Neonatal Levels of Omega-3: Effects on Neurodevelopment, Nutrition, and Growth”, The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2012, Article ID 202473, 8 pages, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1100/2012/202473