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Eating nuts on a regular basis -- the equivalent of an ounce, five times weekly, recommends the Linus Pauling Institute -- keeps you healthy as you age. Nuts lower your risk of chronic disease, fighting high cholesterol and reducing the chances you'll suffer from cardiovascular disease. Cashews and almonds both make healthful additions to your diet, although they differ slightly in their nutrient content.
Cashews have a nutritional advantage over almonds when it comes to copper content. Copper nourishes your nervous system -- it helps you produce neurotransmitters, chemicals used for nerve communication, and also plays a role in producing myelin, a fatty substance that aids in nerve transmission. Copper also helps you produce energy and keeps your connective tissues strong by aiding in collagen production. Cashews offer 622 micrograms of copper per ounce, or approximately 69 percent of your recommended daily copper intake, according to the Institute of Medicine. An equivalent serving of almonds supplies 282 micrograms of copper.
Cashews also contain more iron than almonds. Each ounce of cashews offers 1.9 milligrams of iron, compared to 1.1 milligrams in an ounce of almonds. Consuming a serving of cashews provides approximately 24 percent of the daily iron intake requirements for men, and 11 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. Like copper, iron helps your cells produce energy. It also plays a role in transporting and storing oxygen, and helps your immune system fight off infection.
Almonds contain much more fiber per serving than cashews -- 3.5 grams per ounce, compared to just 0.9 gram in an equivalent serving of cashews. High-fiber foods tend to feel more filling than those low in fiber, so opting for almonds as a snack helps you feel more satisfied and may aid in weight loss. Fiber also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and fights constipation. Each ounce of almonds provides 9 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake for men and 14 percent for women, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Consuming More Cashews and Almonds
Both cashews and almonds make welcome additions to a range of meals. Top your oatmeal with a handful of chopped nuts, or add an ounce of cashews or almonds to your salad. Combine almonds with chopped dates and dried sour cherries in a food processor, then shape the resulting "dough" into bars or balls for an all-natural snack. Lightly brush grilled chicken breast with mango puree, then top with crushed cashews and bake for a decadent but healthful main course.