Who doesn’t enjoy munching on a handful of salty cashews as a mid-day snack? Medical researchers are interested not only in the tasty nut from the cashew tree, but other parts of the cashew plant as well. They’ve recently discovered that cashew seeds hold promise for treating one of the most common chronic diseases in America – diabetes. Can the cashew seed help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics?
Parts of the Cashew Tree May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Researchers have long been intrigued with the cashew tree and its products – including the seeds, bark, and apple. The cashew tree, which grows in tropical climates, produces a bright yellow fruit called the cashew apple. At the tip of the apple lies a cashew seed – the edible portion most people know of as the cashew nut. Researchers believe that not only the cashew seed, but other portions of the cashew tree have anti-inflammatory properties ‘” and could help diabetics lower their blood sugar levels.
Cashew Seeds to Lower Blood Sugar Levels: What Research Showed
In a study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, researchers looked at various parts of the cashew tree, including the seeds, apples, and bark to see if they have any effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. To do this, they exposed extracts from different parts of the cashew tree to human cells. They were quickly rewarded when they tested a cashew seed extract and found it helped human muscle cells better absorb insulin. Other parts of the cashew tree, including the bark and apple, didn’t have the same blood sugar lowering benefits that the seed did.
What Does This Mean for People with Diabetes?
Extracts from the cashew seed could be used to make new medications that help to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin uptake by human cells. This would provide a more natural way to lower blood sugar levels, hopefully, with fewer side effects.
Other Benefits of Cashews for Diabetics
Not only could cashew seeds be used to develop new treatments for diabetics, but simply eating cashews is beneficial for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Cashews are a natural source of monounsaturated fats which help to lower triglycerides. Diabetics often have high triglyceride levels which increases their risk for heart disease. Eating a handful of cashews or other nuts daily could help to lower their risk of a heart attack.
Cashew Seeds to Lower Blood Sugar Levels: The Bottom Line
The modest cashew could have some unexpected benefits for diabetics. Stay tuned for future developments about this natural way to lower blood sugar levels.