The Importance of Vitamin B12 As We Age
Studies have shown that between 10-15% of adults over the age of 60 are affected by a deficiency in Vitamin B12, which is also known as cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is needed in the body because it helps to enable certain enzymes to properly do their job. When these enzymes can’t do their job, it can lead to an overabundance of homocysteine, which has been linked to a higher rate of cardiovascular diseases, which can affect the heart and the blood vessels negatively. This condition can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and congestive heart failure. (Higdon)
Not Just for Meat Eaters
It was originally thought you could only find Vitamin B12 in meats, shellfish, and certain dairy products (to a lesser extent). However, we know now you can also get this important vitamin in cashews, which is great news for vegetarians who may otherwise not be getting enough of it in their diet. Cashews have a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals in them, and Vitamin B12 may just be one of the most important. As with any diet, variety is a great idea so you can get a wide array of important vitamins and minerals your body needs. Special diets, such as vegetarian and vegan, sometimes need to look to other food sources to include nutrients they may not be getting otherwise. Cashews can be just the food they need to add to their diet in order to get Vitamin B12 from a food source.
Aside from the nutrient density of cashews, they also offer a power packed punch of protein quality. If you think of protein quality on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest, that’s right where you’ll find cashews. A score high in protein quality means the food your testing has all the essential amino acids in just the right amount for the human body. If the food being tested lacks one more types of amino acids, the protein in the food is considered to be incomplete, and gets a lower score.
There are nine essential amino acids and cashews contain the right amount of each one, giving them the perfect score of 100. Foods that don’t reach 100 on the scale need to have another complimentary food to make it as beneficial as possible to the human body, but cashews aren’t like that, which make them a great food. When you eat them by themselves, you are getting the correct distribution of protein your body needs, in one tasty snack. This makes cashews the perfect treat to carry with you for when hunger hits or when you’re in between meals. It can hold you over much better than any candy bar or chips ever could.
How Protein Helps Your Body
Eating protein is a great way to help your body with a variety of biological processes, such as making enzymes and fighting infections. It also helps to make muscle tissue which keeps the body healthy and helps to burn more fat. So in addition to the many vitamins you can find in cashews, there is a good amount of protein your body needs daily. Many people consider protein to be a building block of life.
A Great, Portable Snack
Since cashews don’t need to be cooked and don’t easily spoil, they are a great snack to keep on hand at home or at work. They have a variety of vitamins and minerals your body needs daily, and they are loaded with protein. So keep a supply in your car, your handbag, or your desk at work. Snacking on cashews will help to keep you from eating junk food when you don’t have time for a meal.
Higdon, Jane PhD. “Vitamin B12.” Oregon State University. Linus Pauling Institute, n.d. Web. 29 Mar 2014. <http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminB12/>.