Cashew Nut and Mental Health: Does It Help for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression ?
Cashew Nut – The Wonder Nut is the one that came and conquered. Cashew being originated in Portugal is fairly domesticated and grown in India too. Watching this fruit on a tree is a treat to eyes because the actual fruit is attached to the lower portion of Cashew apple, which is just an enlarged part of the stem. The kernel of cashew nut is soft and white. When it is roasted, it changes its colour to golden as well as it becomes more palatable.
Nutrition in Cashew Nuts
What could be better than finding out that this yummiest and nuttiest nut is full of nutrition too? The cashew nuts have a soft consistency and a slightly sweet taste. The cashew nuts have also been used to produce alternatives to dairy products like cashew milk, cashew-based cheese, sour cream, and cashew-based cream. These nuts are full of nutrients that are not only good for our physical health but also mental health. Cashews are a source of fiber, protein, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and DFE folate.
Benefits of Consuming Cashew Nuts
This wonder nut has many benefits associated with its consumption. Some of these include
- The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids present in cashew nuts reduce the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood hence helping in the reduction of heart diseases including heart attack and stroke.
- Want to lose weight and eat tasty too? No worries, cashew nuts are here for you. These nuts help in weight loss because their consumption is associated with the higher expenditure of energy while in the resting phase. They also help a person feel full and reduce hunger.
- If you have gallstones, we have good news. Consuming cashew nuts will reduce your risk of gallbladder surgery. Women who consume more cashew nuts have a lower risk of cholecystectomy.
- Cashew nuts also help in enhancing your bone health. Since they are rich in copper they enhance the mineral density in bones and reduce the risks of osteoporosis. Copper also maintains the elastin and collagen to further strengthen the bones.
- Cashews are one of the best foods to keep your blood pressure in control. They are a rich source of magnesium which lowers the blood pressure and does not let you develop hypertension.
- Another benefit of cashew nuts is that consuming a good serving of cashews daily reduces the risk of gum and teeth problems. There are good amounts of copper and magnesium in cashews. Copper and magnesium both are involved in development as well as maintenance of gums, teeth, even skin, bones, and connective tissues.
- Take your daily dose of cashews and you are preventing yourself from developing diseases like cancer. Cashews are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. These vitamins and antioxidants help in preventing certain disease conditions including sideroblastic anemia as well as pellagra.
These are not the only benefits of cashew nuts. The list of cashew nuts benefits goes on and on. But with this list, we should remember that our daily diet intake must include this important and tasty nut.
Boost your Brain Health with Cashew Nuts
There is an amino acid in Cashew Nuts, known as tryptophan. Tryptophan is known to be an amino acid that leads to the development of Serotonin in the human body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is associated with happiness. Eating cashew nuts hence is a mood booster. There are beneficial fats, vitamin B and magnesium in cashew nuts that help with keeping up a healthy brain.
The nutrients of cashew nuts not only help in making your mood better, but they can also bring relief in the symptoms of anxiety, stress and sometimes even mild depression. Some of the nutrients of cashew nuts that help in warding off stress, anxiety, and depression are mentioned below.
Cashews are known to be the best sources of amino acids like tryptophan. Tryptophan is one of the amino acids which is directly involved in the uptake of serotonin by the brain. Serotonin can be said as an anti-depressant hormone in the body. When the brain uptakes it, it boosts the mood of a person. So if our diet does not involve tryptophan, our body cannot make serotonin, as well as it cannot utilize the already present serotonin, which will keep our mood low and depressed. If we have low levels of serotonin in our blood, we might feel anxious and stressed. A quarter-cup serving of cashew nuts contains 1000 to 2000 milligrams of tryptophan which is an immense amount to keep our mood boosted for a day or two.
Another reason that makes cashew a happy nut is the amounts of Magnesium in it. Cashews are a rich source of Magnesium. This mineral is known to be very important not only for keeping a healthy mood as well as the nervous system. Magnesium helps in getting rid of anxiety and depression. Sometimes, the reason behind anxiety is low blood sugar, which gets better with magnesium intake. A quarter-cup serving of cashews contains roughly 83 milligrams of Magnesium.
Vitamin B6, also known as the calming vitamin is also present in a good amount in cashews. This vitamin is also involved in the proper uptake of serotonin by the brain. Vitamin B6 works with tryptophan to create a relaxed state, which results in the betterment of mood and reduction in anxiety. Uptake of Vitamin B6 is also known to reduce the symptoms of depression and enhance the health of the brain. Vitamin B6 is also involved in helping outreach of magnesium to all cells of the body. Besides cashews, some of the sources from which vitamin B6 can be obtained are sweet potatoes, avocadoes, chia, pumpkin seeds, greens, bananas, and pumpkins.
The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats present in cashew nuts are brain-boosting. These fats help in balancing the mood of a person and reducing the depressive state of the body. One of the best home remedies to ward off bad mood is taking cashew nuts.
Remain Sane with Cashew Nuts
It can be said that cashew nuts are a tiny and bomb package of iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, and proteins. Since all these nutrients are involved in warding off depression, hence cashew nuts are a very safe and good option to keep your mental health balanced. According to some researchers, cashews are so beneficial for depression that their effects are very much similar to that of Prozac. Make sure you consume a quarter cup of cashews every other day to keep your mood boosted.
However, you must know that depression is a very severe issue and you should not take lightly. You should not assume that eating only cashews will help you get rid of depression. Cashews can be considered as a supporting therapy during your depression treatment, but they are not a proper cure to the problem. Cashews must be a routine part of your daily diet.
CAUTION: People who have nut allergies must avoid consuming cashew nuts, as it might boost their allergies.