Bone Health, Digestive Health, Gut Health, Healthy Weight

This Nut Could Replace Prozac + 5 Other Amazing Benefits It Provides

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

It’s a saying we try our best to practice here at Health As It Ought To Be.

Of course, I don’t want you to think all we do is hand out prescriptions of celery and lettuce at our office, but we really do try to work with your diet to help improve your health.

That’s why I wanted to focus on the subject of cashews and what they’re able to do for your health.

As you might guess based on the title alone, cashews are one of the better food-based sources for essential amino acids necessary for healthy brain function.

However, that’s not all they’re good for – they also have several other nutritional assets your body can use for better health.

Get ready to hop on the Dr. Wiggy’s “Magic School Bus” and learn all about cashews.

The Amazing Way Cashews Can Help Keep Mind Healthy

cashews can help fight depression

Cashews are an amazing source of essential nutrients. One of the most powerful nutrients contained within these tasty morsels is the amino acid tryptophan.

You know I’m a fan of tryptophan as I’ve written about its presence in turkey, and also written about how supplementing with it can help with sleep and other ailments.

What I didn’t do is go into much detail about how tryptophan works to keep the mind healthy.

One of the leading classes of prescription drugs marketed and sold to Americans is SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors). The interesting thing about these drugs is…researchers don’t really know how they work.

Our best understanding about the way SSRIs function is they work to increase serotonin in your body by preventing your presynaptic cells from absorbing them.

The belief is this increases the levels of serotonin in your body, and helps to ensure your postsynaptic receptor can bind with it. This alleviates some of the symptoms associated with mood.

The good news in all of this is there is strong evidence that cashews can help to replace the use of SSRIs altogether.

Dr. Andrew Saul, who’s a therapeutic nutritionist and editor-in-chief of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, says: “Several handfuls of cashews provide 1,000-2,000 milligrams of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants”

This helps to confirm what we’ve suspected about the role of cashews and mental health, though it isn’t conclusive that tryptophan is a cure for any kind of mental illness.

However, considering the efficacy for SSRIs is up for debate (and there are plenty of good reasons not to take SSRIs) I’d say those interested in seeing how cashews work as a dietary aid for mental health have every reason in the world to try them out.

Now I’m sure you might be wondering what else cashews might be good for…

5 Benefits Eating Cashews Will Provide

1 – They’ll help keep your gut health in check:

So much of our health has to do with the quality of our bowel movements and how frequently we go. Cashews are rich in fiber, which well help you maintain regularity with ease.

They also contain a special acid called anacardic acid, which has been shown to kill certain bacterias that cause health problems. This includes the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which is known to cause a multitude of digestion issues. I’ve written about the effects of Helicobacter pylori and acid reflux, so if you suffer from GERD, consumption of cashews might help relieve your symptoms.

2 – They can help with gallstones: 

WHFoods writes:

Twenty years of dietary data collected on 80,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that women who eat at least 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter each week have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.
Since 1 ounce is only 28.6 nuts (or about 2 tablespoons of nut butter), preventing gallbladder disease may be as easy as packing one cashew butter and jelly sandwich (be sure to use whole wheat bread for its fiber, vitamins and minerals) for lunch each week, having a handful of cashews as an afternoon pick-me-up, or tossing some cashews on your oatmeal or salad.

3 – They’re capable of fighting off dangerous bacteria: 

The same acid that’ll fight Helicobacter pylori also has the ability to destroy a wide range of other pernicious bacteria.

Anacardic acid is a potent anti-bacterial, and has been found to fight some of the nastiest bacteria around. Studies have revealed anacardic acid has the ability to help neutralize the pathogens responsible for infections in the lungs, sinuses and many more.

How effective is it? If you were to isolate 1 part full-strength anacardic acid and place it in 2,000,000 parts water, it would start to destroy gram positive bacteria in a quarter of an hour.  Don’t know what gram positive bacteria is? Check this video out.

4 – They can help you keep your waistline slim:

Here’s an interesting thing about cashews: they can help you keep off weight. Well, most nuts can, but cashews are especially helpful.

In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.

The 28-month study involving 8,865 adult men and women in Spain found that participants who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were participants who never or almost never ate nuts.
And, among the study of participants who gained weight, those who never or almost never ate nuts gained more (an average of 424 g more) than those who ate nuts at least twice weekly.
Study authors concluded, “Frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain (5 kg or more). These results support the recommendation of nut consumption as an important component of a cardioprotective diet and also allay fears of possible weight gain.”

5 – They’re awesome for helping build bones:

We love helping people grow and maintain healthy bones here at Health As It Ought To Be.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you cashews are one heckuva great food source for nutrients, and are absolutely vital for strong bones.

That nutrient is magnesium.
What you might not realize about magnesium is two-thirds of the magnesium found in your body is directed to your bones. Without magnesium, your bones would be frail and brittle, meaning you’ve got to get a fair bit of it in your diet.

Remember, if you haven’t heard me say it before, millions of Americans are deficient in magnesium. And while I recommend supplementing with it if your levels are too low, eating a couple of handful of cashews with some amount of frequency can also help to regulate those magnesium levels.

Hope you learned something about cashews today…and that you go and buy a bunch tonight!

Talk soon,

Dr. Wiggy