Want the powerful effects of an antidepressant without pouring all of the chemicals into your body? If you find yourself in need of a pick me up, head on over to the nut aisle in your grocery store. That’s right. The Cashew Nut contains powerful nutrients and amino acids which can effectively reduce some of the tendencies toward depression. These include tryptophan, magnesium, B6, and various other components which are extremely beneficial to the health of the human body.
Tryptophan in Cashews will Fight Depression
Because of the high content of L-tryptophan, Cashews offer a significant boost to the mood while promoting healthy sleep and sexual desire. With up to 2,000 mg of tryptophan in a snack-sized portion (several handfuls), cashews have an extremely powerful ability to affect the body in a positive way.
As the body digests L-tryptophan, an amino acid, it is broken down into niacin which is known to reduce stress and allow for sleep. In addition, the processing of tryptophan produces serotonin in the body, which is a neurotransmitter that provides a strong sense of well-being and limits the feelings of stress.
Anti-depressants such as Prozac and Paxil are engineered to mimic a rise in the body’s natural serotonin levels. By ingesting foods that contain tryptophan, particularly cashews, you can naturally increase your own body’s serotonin levels and effectively reduce the negative effects of stress and depression. In fact, just one large handful of cashews will give the body up to 2000 mg of tryptophan—making it a strong competitor with prescription drugs! Source
Magnesium and B6 in Cashews – a Major Boost
In addition to the high levels of tryptophan, cashews contain significant amounts of vitamin B6 and magnesium, which are known to help effectively stabilize a person’s mood. Low levels of magnesium in the body have been shown to be linked with mild symptoms of depression. Vitamin B6 is also important as it tends to help the body convert the all-important tryptophan into the highly-useful serotonin. Just 5 ounces of cashews a day gives a man of middle-age the full amount of magnesium he needs each day. Source
Cashews: Other Health Benefits
In addition to preventing or treating depression, cashews have some other benefits to offer to your healthy lifestyle. And we know that a healthy body is critically important to a healthy mind. A handful of raw cashews includes essential raw minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, sodium, manganese, copper, zinc, selenium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. That’s quite a power-packed handful of nuts! In addition, cashews may help people to lose weight as they are high in healthy fats that feed the body but promote an active lifestyle. Source
Of course, clinical depression is a serious problem and may require the help of a medical professional. Those who are already taking anti-depressants should always check with their doctor before making any changes to their prescription regime. But for those who simply have a bit of the “blues” or need a little boost to their mood and overall health, a little snack of cashews could be just the answer!