Cashew vs. Almond — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Almonds are rich in vitamins B2, E, calcium, and manganese. On the other hand, cashews are rich in vitamins K, B1, B6, B5, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus.
Table of contents
Almonds and cashews are classified as nuts that are highly rich in minerals and different vitamins. They are versatile in how they can be consumed and used in the culinary world.
In this article, we will be comparing the nutritional content of each, the health impact, accessibility and storage, and their downsides.
What's The Actual Difference?
Almond and cashew milk are now widely used as an alternative to dairy milk, especially within the vegan community and lactose intolerant individuals.
Cashews are softer and more delicate in texture than almonds, which are thicker and crunchier. Because almonds have a slightly nutty flavor and cashews have a creamy, buttery flavor, the taste of these two nuts differs slightly.
Almonds are single seeds within flat, slightly porous, beige pods, whereas cashews are kidney or heart-shaped achenes in any regular variation.
Both almonds and cashews are high in nutrients and are excellent sources of healthy compounds.
Almonds have 579 calories per 100g, whereas cashews provide 553 calories per 100g.
Almonds and cashews are rich in their vitamin compositions. However, they don't have similar content when it comes to vitamins.
Almonds are considered one of the nuts with the highest vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Almonds contain 1.14mg of vitamin B2 per 100g. The daily requirement of vitamin B2 is 1.3mg a day for males and 1.1mg a day for females.
Almond is also rich in vitamin E, having 25.6mg, with the daily requirement being 15mg a day.
On the other hand, cashews are considered to be rich in vitamin K at 34.1μg and vitamin B complex, specifically, B1, B6, and B5.
Almonds and cashews are food sources that contain a high amount of minerals.
They have similar content of potassium and magnesium with slight differences.
Almonds are rich in calcium and manganese, while cashews are richer in iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. Cashews are considered to be a good source of iron.
Almonds are relatively more affluent in their dietary fiber content compared to cashews. Almonds provide 12.5g of fiber per 100g, while cashews have 3.3g of fiber.
Almonds are higher in fats than cashews. They provide 50g of fat per 100g, whereas cashews have 44g of fat.
Almonds and cashews have 31.5g and 23.8g of monounsaturated fats, respectively, and the recommended daily intake is at <33g.
In addition to that, almonds and cashews have 12.3g and 7.8g of polyunsaturated fat content, respectively, and the daily requirement is at <22g.
Fat Type Comparison
Health Impact Similarities
Almonds and cashews positively impact lowering blood cholesterol levels, which lowers the risks of heart disease (CHD) by 20%. If left untreated and unmonitored, this will cause a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. Another impact is on the vessels of the body. Consumption of almonds and cashews at least five times a week decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). These diseases are related to the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of blood clots and plaque formation around arteries. (2)
Almonds being rich in calcium, help maintain healthy bones. They are considered a good source of calcium in vegan diets, as one serving of almonds is equivalent to ¼ cup of dairy milk. (3)
The vitamin E content of almonds acts as an antioxidant, protecting the brain tissues from being covered with amyloid plaques, which is the reason for developing Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin E contributes to lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Also, almonds have promising results in showing restorative measures after diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. (4)
Cashews, on the other hand, contain zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthins are yellow-pigmented antioxidants that have a role in protecting the eyes. After ingestion, the zeaxanthins present in cashews get absorbed by the retina and protect the retina from ultraviolet light. Zeaxanthins contribute to the prevention of the disease called Age-related Macular Degeneration AMD. AMD causes blurring of vision, usually while driving or reading, and is expected after age 60. (5)
Almond and Cashew milk are now widely used as an alternative to dairy milk, especially within the vegan community and lactose intolerant individuals.Daily consumption of cashew in diabetic patients lowered their total insulin levels, thus helping to control Diabetes Mellitus. (6)
Accessibility and Storage
The best way to store nuts is to put them in a dark environment. This is because of the photooxidative effect. Healthy fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, can break down and lose their properties if exposed to light for long durations. (7)
Almonds, when roasted or processed, lose some of their nutritional value. Therefore, the most effective and optimal way to consume these nuts is in their raw state. However, when it comes to cashews, they should be consumed roasted or steamed because they contain urushiol, which is a toxic compound found in poison ivy. So the processing of cashews makes them free of urushiol. In addition to that, almonds and cashews are being used as alternatives to unhealthy snacks. Regarding the vegan community and individuals who are lactose intolerant, almond and cashew milk are excellent alternatives to dairy milk, most specifically almond milk, due to their rich calcium content.
In some cultures, almonds, and cashews are consumed with kernels and other nuts, often roasted and salted. One must be careful when consuming them in their salted processing, as the sodium content of both nuts will be elevated.
Almonds and cashews might cause allergic reactions. For example, these reactions can range from low severity to a simple itching of the lips. Or can have high severity that will lead to shortness of breath (anaphylaxis) and require medical intervention.
In some people, consuming high amounts of sweet almonds while taking diabetes medications might cause severe hypoglycemia, a severe decrease in blood sugar levels.
Almonds and cashews have moderate amounts of oxalate. When high amounts of these nuts are consumed over the long term, the risks of kidney stone formation increase. These stones are calcium oxalate stones, leading to Oxalate Nephropathy (kidney stones). (8)
Carbohydrate type comparison
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid||0g||0.002g|
|Omega-6 - Linoleic acid||12.32g|
|Omega-3 - ALA||0.003g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Cashew - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170162/nutrients
- Almond - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170567/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.