Food that reduces stress: Cashew nuts

CashewSnack

By User Femto on en.wikipedia (Femto) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In this post we are going to be talking about another food that can help against stress, cashew nuts. If you have never had cashew nuts before, they are delicious, it is impossible to describe a taste properly but all I can say is that they taste so good that I could just pop them in my mouth all day if I had the chance. That being said, aside from them being a tasty nut they are also a very fattening, so you need to be mindful of how much you take; I think a handful a day should be fine but then again I’m no nutrition expert. Anyway let’s get into why and how cashew nuts help with stress.

Like most nuts, cashews are filled with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, zinc, protein, some omega 3 fatty acids and more. But how does this help with stress? Well according to this article on onegreenplanet.org titled “How Cashews Can Help With Stress and Anxiety,”written by Heather McClees, there are 4 main reasons why this nut is good for people with stress and anxiety issues; you can check out the article for yourself if you want, but I’ll just summarise it here too.

  1. They are filled with Tryptophan: I have mentioned before in other articles how tryptophan is an important amino acid that helps our body produce the feel good hormone serotonin. Cashews have high concentrations of tryptophan in them, about 1000-2000 milligrams per 1/4 cup , now that’s some good stuff.
  2. A good amount of magnesium: Cashews have about 83 milligrams of magnesium in one serving. Magnesium is very good for fighting anxiety and depression; it is also good against low blood sugar which is helpful.
  3. A dash of Vitamin B6: B6 helps in creating more serotonin for the body. They also help our health by making it easier for magnesium to reach the cells in our body.
  4. Fat is good (in small doses): The fats in cashews can help keep a balanced diet and also a balanced mood (you must maintain the balance). A lot of fat is bad but a little fat is good for you so better keep that in mind.

The article mentions one Dr. Andrew Saul who was featured in a film called Food Matters. According to the good doctor, cashews are very good for fighting depression and stress; they even provide mood boosting effects similar to the medicine Prozac. Fun fact: in the east Prozac is more commonly known as Fludac, I’m not sure why they changed the name but I think it has something to do with a different company making the same medicine.

The article also mentions (and this is important) that depression is a serious mental health issue and you can’t expect cashews to cure it on its own; however it can help boost your mood a little and it is good for health when taken in moderate doses (remember, balance).

Well that is a nice pile of information but let’s add another reference just for the heck of it. The next article is from empowher.com and titled “Cashews: A Natural Antidepressant” by Aimee Boyle. This one is a blog post like mine where the writer tells us her thoughts on how cashews help against stress and depression, she also mentions her own research and references, it’s a short article and worth a quick read.

Well that’s about it for this post. To round it all off cashew nuts are a good food to take not only for a more balanced diet but also as a mood booster. Of course cashews won’t cure anything by themselves but they do help and can be considered a good add on. Unless you are allergic to nuts I would recommend trying to get your hands on cashews and taking a few every day; only a few though, remember what I kept saying in this post, you must maintain the balance.

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