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Cashews Make Me Sick!

Yup. Everytime I eat more than a handful of cashews, I get pretty darn sick. I made a raw mac and cheese from matthew kenneys everyday raw (which was AMAZING) but I got sick afterward. Is this an unusal happening, or is it pretty common with raw foodies?


  • my body responds to cashews (fat in general) by weight gain, constipation, lethargy, and loss of endurance, not to mention my physical training becomes obsolete! lay off the nuts a little while, see how your body feels, i get by fine without them!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I eat loads of cashews. I never get sick. Sorry to hear that you're not feeling well! I don't recall hearing raw foodies complain about cashews, and i've been reading the goneraw forums for a year.

  • JoyceHJoyceH Raw Newbie

    If cashews do make you sick, try substituting avocados or a combo of macs and pinenuts

  • CarnapCarnap Raw Newbie

    Lay off the cashews for a while, if it is that important, go back to them.

    I have times when I crave nuts, then for a while I don't want them. I, like Kevin, can get lethargic on too many nuts, so I go more for fruits, but then... I get hypoglycemic, so I constantly look for a balance, which I find in mass amounts of SALAD!!!

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    i've heard that the outer layer of the cashew is toxic and they aren't raw because they have to be heated to remove the toxic shell. i haven't eaten them (or nuts) in a while because of that and also because too much fat in my diet definitely constipates me.

  • Where do you get your cashews? I get a ton of free "raw" cashews, from working in a health food store. I worry that they're not truly raw though, as joannabanana said. The sunfood site (www.sunfood.com) sells "truly raw" cashews, and I've been intending to purchase them to compare. They certainly look prettier in the picture than the ones I get. I try not to overdo them though, I pretty much just use them for desserts.

    So it could be that the cashews are questionable, or you could have a sensitivity. Let us know if you find cashews that work for you!

  • Oh thanks for all the comments and ideas. I've naturally been avoiding cashews and nuts in general. My body just seems to be telling me so. I eat crazy amounts of fruit though and am concerned about that... I try and balance with veggies. I used to eat an avocado a day, but the craving for those kinda went with the nuts. I haven't tried "truly raw" cashews. I suspect the ones I'm getting aren't actually raw. I get sick to my stomach, like I want to vomit almost. I therefore have just avoided them. But I'm really bummed because I love to make all the fancy, gourmet dishes and they almost always use cashews! I have substituted macadamias and they don't upset me, but they're way more expensive :( I like pine nut too, but their flavor is so distinctive - doesn't work well in ice creams, for example. I'll let you know if I find some good ones though!

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    I eat cashews with no problems. but I knew of a gal who broke out in a rash every time she ate them. Her doc told her that cashews are in the same family with poison ivy / poison oak. Maybe you have a sensitivity to that family?

    I've recently discovered I get a *mild* itch/dry throat after eating macadamias... anybody have that one?

  • crazy amount of fruit and worried about it? i eat over 3,000 calories of sweet fruit every day and I couldn't be more excited about it! don't combine fat with fruit though, that would be a big mistake.

  • Cashews seem to be really hit or miss with people.

    When I ate them, roasted ones gave me unfortunate bathroom side effects (I'll spare you all the details).

    Raw ones make me queasy...not as dramatic a reaction as the roasted one but still my body is telling me to eat something different.

    One a related note...have you all seen what a cashew looks like in it's natural state?

    If not I suggest you check it out (a quick google search can do it). It's actually quite interesting.

    There is a large fruit hanging from the branch, then the casing for the nut is at the bottom of the fruit.

    For those of us who like to take our cues from nature and try to figure out what we should or shouldn't eat we should pay attention to the cashew. There is a HUGE fruit that connects the seed/nut to the tree. Once the fruit is eaten the seed/nut drops to the ground. It's surrounded by an irritating toxin that dissuades something from eating it so it can stay put and eventually grow into a new tree. It seems to me, in my humble opinion, that the cashew nut/seed is not designed to be eaten.

  • superfood2superfood2 Raw Newbie

    For savory dishes, you could try sunflower seeds as a substitute and for sweet, hemp seeds.

  • carrie6292carrie6292 Raw Newbie

    I also can't and don't eat cashews. There are so many other nuts/seeds out there that don't bother me, so i use those. I tend to use Brazil's and Pine Nuts most often since they are the softest. Occasionally i'll have cashews, but only if doesn't taste good with the other nuts. Mac's are nice and soft too, just kinda pricey. Just out of curiosity, do Peanuts have the same effect on you? I've been told that Cashews and Peanuts are the most toxic of all nuts, so i'm wondering if it's the toxicity that bothers you.

    You can make ice cream with young coconuts instead of nuts...

  • "It seems to me, in my humble opinion, that the cashew nut/seed is not designed to be eaten."

    right on, twitch. just to add to what others are saying here, cashews (and peanuts) contain, on average, 25 different strains of fungus.

    i mean, its okay to eat them once in awhile if you feel okay, but not as a staple. they really are not a health food.

    macadamias, young coconut, brazil nuts are good substitutes.

  • Thank you all for your input!

    pixx: I've noticed I break out too. Not terribly though, but it's annoying - kinda like poison ivy. I thought it was my lupus perhaps... Now that I'm almost completely raw, I'm SO MUCH more sensitive to cashews.

    Twitch: That's just up my alley. I'm also an avid gardener, so I'll look up the cashew plant. Awesome suggestion. I definately try and take cues from nature.

    carie6292: I'm going to try and make ice cream from young coconut today! Thanks for the suggestion. I've gotten into macadamia's a lot lately (when I use nuts.) They're expensive, but the best. I use sunflower seeds and pine nuts too, but I'm not sure the pine nuts I"m getting are raw.

    Dreambrother: Thanks for the ideas. I use nuts not too aften anymore. My body doesn't seems to agree with them. I'm totally into young coconuts (which are a nut I guess) though. Have you heard anything about brazil nuts not being truly raw, as cashews aren't?

  • wichtenwichten Raw Newbie

    ooh wonder what the cashew apple tastes like?

    I have a similar reaction to cashews as i do to wheat. They make me all bloated and uncomfortable- yet once i start eating them i have a hard time stopping. I think theyre addictive.

  • ParsleyParsley Raw Newbie

    I often have trouble with all nuts: cashews, pecans, walnuts, and almonds. It seems like most of the time my body does not want them. I've never had this problem with seeds, but I don't know what the difference is. Less fat, maybe?

  • laurajlauraj Raw Newbie

    If it makes you feel like crap afterwards, stop eating the offending food. Your body is telling you something loud and clear. Now, if I could only take my own advice! But seriously, I am against a high fatty diet with too many nuts, seeds, oils and avos. I tend to swing more towards the 80/10/10, natural hygiene and Boutenko green smoothie concept.

  • bittbitt Raw Starter

    this thread is interesting because almost everyone has a different opinion! yes i've heard that some people break out after eating them but i've personally had no problem with them. you could try macadamia nuts for a substitute as well.

  • One thing about cashew nuts which people might not be aware of is that it's a hybrid food.

    The sugars from hybridised foods can upset the hormonal balance in the body because the liver doesn't recognize these sugars and they pass directly into the bloodstream. Cashew nuts are sometimes people's favorite because they're so darn sweet :)

  • I love cashews... I have just bought some sunfood truly raw cashews But I have no eatten them yet. I still have a bag of cashews to eat yet.

    I will not buy them again tho, I live in Denmark and the cashews are from indonesia.. even with good ethical agreements.. Its pretty silly to buy cashews from indonesia that are packaged or what not in the US and then to Denmark...

    Look at alternatives.. I dont like certain things too.. when people make things with cream, made from whatever.. i just throw up.. my body rejects it....

  • I recently came across your comment on line and was very concerned about the fact that many people are eating raw nut products, especially imported varieties. At this time there is no regulation that requires overseas processing facilities to subscribe to good manufacturing practices. I have been in the imported nut and agricultural commodities business for 20 years and was shocked when I saw the conditions under which many of these produts were processed. I have been crusading for responsible sourcing for over 13 years with little response from the industry. Check out my website www.cashewconcern.com, click on the facilities section and scroll to the bottom of the page to see some of the facilities in India in which cashews are processed. I publish a blog called the responsible source. http://theresponsiblesource.blogspot.com This is not just cashews, many overseas nut and agri products are processed in substandard conditions. Unfortuanely most of these products are commodity driven therfore the importing is under the control of commodity traders who hold littie regard to the types of facilities they procure product from. The ultimate goal is to get the lowest price. Its not surprising that people are getting sick consumig these nuts in their raw form.

  • Oh my goodness Emily Jane, I made Matthew Kenney's Mac & Cheese last night and got sick too! I felt like I was going to throw up all day and every time I thought of the Mac & Cheese I got queezy. I thought it was odd. Interesting to hear it happened to someone else. Hmmmm.......



  • LilEarthMuffinLilEarthMuffin Raw Newbie

    I cant eat nuts aswell - they are really hard for me to digest and i get all bloaty and sick. not fun. :(


  • Glad I'm not the only one! I've made it with almond butter a few times, and far LESS, and that has been alright. Give that a whirl.

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