Canadian researchers have found that the extract of cashew seeds contains anti-diabetic properties that may be capable of helping patients improve their resistance to insulin.
For the study, a research team from the University of Montreal analyzed the extracts of a variety of plants to see which, if any, could improve the body’s response to its own insulin. The investigators hoped that cashew seed extract could combat diabetes as it has long been thought of as a useful anti-inflammatory agent that could effectively counteract high blood sugar.
"Of all the extracts tested, only cashew seed extract significantly stimulated blood sugar absorption by muscle cells," said lead researcher Pierre Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the university.
"Our study validates the traditional use of cashew tree products in diabetes and points to some of its natural components that can serve to create new oral therapies," he added.
Cashews are loaded with antioxidants, B vitamins, fiber and protein. Previous studies have suggested that the nut can also help combat metabolic syndrome, which is grouping of health conditions characterized by high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and abdominal obesity, according to EMaxHealth.com.