Depression affects millions of people around the world, and scientists predict that 6.7% of the U.S. adults will be affected by it in the following year.
In most cases, depressed people take prescribed medications used to treat depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and panic disorder. However, the use of those medications can cause numerous side-effects, including:
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Weight changes
- Constipation, upset stomach, mild nausea, vomiting
- Sleeping problems
- Feeling nervous, dizziness, drowsiness, impotence, low sex drive
- Shallow breathing or breathing that stops, memory issues, fainting, hallucinations, trouble concentrating, confusion, seizures, weakness and headaches
- Uneven heartbeat, high fever, overactive reflexes, sweating, tremors, stiff (rigid) muscles
- Cold symptoms such as a sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose
- Burning eyes, swelling of the tongue or the face, sore throat, fever, skin rashes, skin pain, and other skin conditions
Fortunately, there is a natural alternative to these medications, in the form of cashews. They are high in tryptophan and niacin, and 2 handfuls of cashews are believed to be an amount that is therapeutic for tryptophan, which is enough to improve mood.
Actually, the more precise measurement for cashews is 3 and 1/2 ounces of cashews, which is a cup and a half of cashews, that provides up to 470 mg of tryptophan.
They are able to naturally treat depression, and boost overall health. They have an impressive nutritional profile, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, an ounce of raw cashews, or about 28.35 g, contains:
- 1.64 mg of zinc
- 3 mg of sodium
- 5.15 g of protein
- 83 mg of magnesium
- 168 mg of phosphorus
- 187 mg of potassium
- 1.89 mg of iron
- 10 mg of calcium
- 0.9 g of fiber
- 1.68 g of sugar
- 8.56 g of carbohydrate
- 12.43 g of total fat
- 157 calories
They are an incredibly rich source of vitamins C and B, as well as DFE folate, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Experts recommend cashews as a way to improve heart health due to their high nutrient density and supply of many vital minerals.
They are abundant in unsaturated fatty acids and many other beneficial compounds, such as plant-based protein; dietary fiber; minerals like copper, zinc, and magnesium; antioxidants like phytosterols and phenolic compounds.
A cashew kernel provides 21 percent protein, 46 percent fat and 25 percent carbohydrates, so it is an excellent, high-protein and high-fat food choice.
Cashews are rich in healthy fats, and they are primarily made up of unsaturated fats in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs that contain oleic acid), and a smaller proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS mostly in the form of linoleic acid). About 62 percent of the cashew’s fats are monounsaturated fat, 18 percent polyunsaturated fats and the rest a mix of saturated fats.
Therefore, cashews effectively treat anemia, gallstones, diabetes, enhance the function of the nerves and muscles, and improve bone heart, and oral health. They strengthen the immune system and help the formation of red blood cells.
Moreover, if you suffer from depression, make sure you consume two handfuls of cashews a day, instead of the daily dose of Prozac, and you will get much better effects!