Here we come to our recent discovery, which claims that cashews may be a potential alternative to anti-depressants. As Anya V, a writer for the Living Traditionally website, informs, “2 handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac”. She further cites Dr. Andrew Saul, a therapeutic nutritionist and editor-in-chief of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, who says that “several handfuls of cashews provide 1,000-2,000 milligrams of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants.”
The tryptophan is one of the 22 standard amino acids and an essential amino acid in the human diet (Wikipedia). It is converted into serotonin, “a major contributor to feelings of sexual desire, good mood, and healthy sleep.” As Living Traditionally explains, “this is such a profound effect” that simply cannot be provided in the exact form by antidepressants such as Prozac and Paxil, and these can only “either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high.”
Considering the results of this study, people diagnosed with depression should really think twice before they start using any kind of anti-depressants recommended by their doctors.
Furthermore, cashews abound in proteins, dietary fibers, essential minerals, and vitamins, and provide one’s organism with many health benefits:
Improve heart health;
Improve bone and oral health;
Effectively treat diabetes;
Strengthen nerve and muscle function;
Treat anemia and gallstones;
In addition, Men’s Journal reports that cashews are really helpful when it comes to treating depression due to their high levels of magnesium and vitamin B6:
Approximately five ounces of cashews a day will provide a middle-aged man with his daily-required magnesium intake, a nutrient that, when low, can trigger mild depression. Vitamin B6 lends a hand to converting tryptophan into serotonin and helps magnesium enter into the body’s cells. It’s likely a trio of nutrients that help with depression.
(The Case for Cashews, written by Marykate Marley)
The Empowher website has also done some research about this subject and informs that:
…cashews contain niacin and tryptophan, and, according to some, two handfuls of cashews contain a “therapeutic amount” of tryptophan, enough to alter and elevate your mood. The real measurement, apparently, is three and a half ounces of cashews, about one-half cup, which provides approximately 470 mg of tryptophan. (http://www.surfingman10.org/niacin.html)
(Cashews: A Natural Antidepressant, written by Aimee Boyle)
Craig Hitchens, a naturopathic practitioner, has also provided his own view regarding the ability of cashews to function as antidepressants, on his website Craig Hitchens Therapies. Here’s what he says:
You see cashews also contain the amino acid L-Tryptophan.
Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters. Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or us Australians would say, “no worries.”
(Foods That Heal-Cashew Nuts)
It is always great to find out that a certain medical condition can be treated in a completely natural way. However, we still advise you to consult your doctor before you decide to use any natural treatments.