Depression is a widespread ailment with a reported 3 million US cases per year and causes a great deal of distress to people who have it. Current treatment methods include medication such as antidepressants and talking therapies.
However, antidepressants have unwanted side effects on our bodies. They can cause addiction, nausea, and have other such severe side-effects. This is why natural supplements and plant-based sources are always preferred over inorganic.
Plant-based sources don’t have most of these side effects and are okay to be taken daily. Therefore, using Cashews for depression, anxiety, and general health is a much sought-after topic for researchers and health professionals.
Why Does it work?
Are cashews good for depression? Yes, because the chemical responsible for mood balance is called serotonin and depression is often the result of reduced levels of serotonin and the amino acid required to produce serotonin, called tryptophan.
Cashews contain B6, magnesium, niacin, and even tryptophan, the synergy of which helps with depression(1). B6 helps magnesium enter into the body’s cells and convert the tryptophan into serotonin. Researchers claim that eating two or more handfuls of cashews per day empowers you with enough tryptophan to alter and elevate your mood.
Cashews for depression don’t have the side effects of antidepressants like Prozac and therefore are a natural solution for depression and anxiety.
[Also Read: Cure Depression with Natural Remedies]
Cashews are one of the best sources of the amino acid, tryptophan among all plant-based foods. Tryptophan acts as a direct precursor to the antidepressant hormone itself.
Serotonin depletion in our systems can make us feel stressed, anxious, and downright sad.
Therefore, this amino acid is critical for improving the uptake of serotonin in the brain and help our bodies use the amount of serotonin that we do have.
Tryptophan is incredibly abundant in cashews with 1000-2000 milligrams per 1/4 cup serving, although it is found in many other plant-based foods as well.
Other good sources in lower amounts are almonds, sweet potatoes, bananas, pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds, to name a handful.
Cashews contain roughly 83 milligrams of magnesium per serving, which helps fight low blood sugar that can contribute to anxiety.
Traditional treatments for major depression are poorly effective to ineffective since sixty percent of cases of MD are treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Lack of magnesium has been known to harm the brain and cause mood disorders.
Major depression or MD is mainly due to this magnesium deficiency, which causes N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) coupled calcium channels to be biased towards opening as it leads to neuronal injury and neurological dysfunction.
[Also Read: Magnesium to Treat Depression]
3. Vitamin B6
The Vitamin B6 in cashews helps in the uptake of serotonin in the body and fight a sour or anxious mood along with tryptophan to create a relaxed, zen state.
It aids magnesium to reach body cells more effectively and in this way, reduces depression and improves overall brain health. The best sources of vitamin B6 include cashews along with avocados, bananas, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, greens, chia, and sweet potatoes.
Theoretically, vitamin B6 is a cofactor in the tryptophan-serotonin pathway, and thus, low levels of it cause depression. It’s also significant to the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
Your body cannot produce vitamin B6, so you must obtain it from foods or supplements, which is why cashews are good for depression. Other sources of vitamin B6 include avocados, bananas, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, greens, chia, and sweet potatoes.
Mono-unsaturated fats keep your brain healthy and depression-free. Although a low-fat diet is prescribed for specific heart diseases, a healthy dose of fat each day is essential for your mood, mental health, and heart health. We recommend cashews for depression as they are the best sources of mono-unsaturated fats which are found explicitly in nuts and seeds.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are abundant in the brain, the absence of which causes depression. Your brain needs a balance between ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids explicitly as they both compete for control of the level of inflammation in your brain and ultimately, your level of depression.
[Also Read: Home Remedies for Depression]
How to Use It?
Two handfuls of cashews contain a substantial amount of tryptophan, enough to alter and elevate your mood, although the real measurement is three and a half ounces of cashews, about half a cup, which provides approximately 470 mg of tryptophan. This is great news for people who react terribly to medications like Prozac and want a more natural response to their depression.
A growing body of research has found that some people can turn to foods that are high in tryptophans, like cashews in lieu of taking a prescription drug. Two handfuls of cashews each day may keep depression at bay. Also, cashews are delicious and something that we all love, so it’s worth trying it out as a cure for depression.
1. Can Depression Get Cured on Its Own Just by Eating Cashews Every Day?
Depression is a severe mental health issue which is not to be taken lightly, so we cannot assume it to go away on its own. Consuming 1/4 cup per day is a proven way to boost your mood and balance brain health naturally in correspondence with an otherwise healthy diet.
2. What Else Are Cashews Good For?
In a nutshell, cashews are useful for maintaining the overall health of your body. Cashews are low on cholesterol and are suitable for your heart.
It helps slow down your weight gain and lower your blood pressure levels, preventing hypertension. It is also good for the development and maintenance of skin, bones, connective tissue and organs, and disease prevention in general.
3. How many cashews can I eat a day?
A healthy intake of cashews for a day is around 30 grams or 15 cashews.
4. Do cashews have Omega 3?
Cashews have the highest amounts of omega 3-fatty acid content, at 0.14g for every 100 grams. These nuts are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.