Instead of checking depression with uppers and prescription drugs, more studies suggest that people can start turning to cashews for solutions. A recent study shows that food high in tryptophan, such as cashews, helps increase serotonin levels in depressed people.
Depression occurs when serotonin levels take a dip. According to therapeutic nutritionist Dr. Andrew Saul, a few handfuls of cashew contain 1,000mg to 2,000mg of tryptophan. Tryptophan is processed by the body and converted into serotonin which is responsible for achieving good mood, increasing sexual desire, and improving sleep.
More people prefer the natural way of getting out of depression over antidepressants. Saul, who also happens to be the editor-in-chief of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, says that tryptophan is not the sole soldier that combats depression. Cashews contain more than just tryptophan in a bite. Cashews also boost magnesium and vitamin B6. Both substances are responsible for stabilizing mood. Adult men often encounter episodes of mild depression triggered by low magnesium levels. The required daily amount of magnesium that a middle-aged male needs can be supplied by 5 ounces of cashew a day. Vitamin B6, on the other hand, helps in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin and aids in the absorption of magnesium.
Think of cashews as nature’s equivalent of a capsule with a trio of anti-depressant nutrients.