Have you felt depressed lately due to some personal or medical reasons, or just you feel too emotional with no reason at all? You probably had some mood swifts. There is one natural remedy that can you help you with negative thoughts and moody blues, the cashew. And you can find it in various forms such as cashew butter, cashew yogurt which are so beneficial and healthy, especially if you are a vegan and they are healthy for diabetics too!
Cashews are tropical nuts that come out of cashew apples and they can easily be called fruit. They come in several varieties and in various colors, so you find them from bottom green to grayish brown. One interesting fact is that they are the nuts the mostly produced on the planet. They originate from Brazil but were introduced to India, a country that became the biggest producer of this delicacy along with Nigeria, Vietnam, Ivory Coast, and Brazil.
The cashew kernel is the processed cashew nut that is very nutritious, and there is a long process of fabrication to produce it. Being rich in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and anti-oxidants, it is unbelievably good for your brain function and your overall health. It is advisable to eat soaked cashew to boost your brain activity.
One of the biggest benefits is being a great booster of brain activity and it is a natural anti-depressant as it contains mood-stabilizing vitamin B6 and tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates moods. So, this product is a must on your everyday diet if you have felt depressed lately. It is the best alternative to antidepressant drugs.
Plus, it is a great food for vegans, since it can substitute some dairy products.
Let’s see some of its benefits, compare with it some other healthy nuts, and learn about the healthy cashew milk yogurt, low fat and rich in probiotic cultures, and some other products made out of this nut such as cashew butter.
If you eat nuts, you do not get nuts, as simple as that.
According to some nutritionists, two handfuls of cashews eaten daily can really reduce your anxiety, level of stress and ameliorate your sleep. It contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin and can be bought in capsule form. We get depressed when the level of serotonin in our body is low and cashew can easily boost this transmitter in our body that affects our mood.
It was stated in the media that it can replace Prosac and it was great news for people who cannot tolerate this antidepressant. Still, this statement should be taken with caution, as it does not come from a clinical study or research.
Nevertheless, research was conducted and stated that dietary consumption of tryptophan produced notable effects in patients who suffered from neuropsychological disorders or had a history of such disorders, rather than in healthy individuals (1) .
In fact, a 3-week clinical trial conducted in Malaysia has shown that consuming Talbinah, food rich in tryptophan had positive effects on depressive and anxious elderly patients. (2).
So, we may conclude that taking tryptophan as a dietary supplement may boost the level of serotonin in your body and it is healthy and very helpful. So, this nut is recommended on your diet list if you feel down lately, and you want to improve your mood.
On the other hand, the statement that two handfuls of cashews per day can replace the prescribed drug Prosac should be taken with caution, and it is potentially dangerous, as it is not supported with medical studies.
Like other nuts, cashew is healthy, and it is highly recommendable to be part of your everyday diet to induce longevity. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily serving of 30g of nuts. According to experts, roasted cashew is better than the raw one, as it may last longer and its abilities to lower the cholesterol levels remain the same as the raw one.
They can become easily a habit and the more you eat them they become tastier and that can give you more cravings.
It has a low glycemic index and most of the carbohydrates in it are starch. The cashew nutrition in one cup is as follows:
For a Serving Size of 1 cup (137g)
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs.
The cashew has monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and this helps with lowering cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. This may also help your heart and its function. They are gluten-free and high in calories and there are 25 calories in 5 cashews. This makes them an excellent substitute and a healthy snack at work or between meals (3).
It has a huge amount of protein in it, and it is essential for your body. So, there is a 5,17 g of protein in just 1 cashew. This is especially good for your brain function.
Anyway, this protein that comes from nuts and cashew, cannot replace the essential amino acids you can get from meat. But, if you are a vegan, you can add some extra rice or black beans and complement the proteins the cashew is lacking.
There are five cashews that are high in protein, and they ranked as follows per 100 gr.:
1. Nuts, cashew nuts, raw: 18.22g (33%RDA)
2. Nuts, cashew butter, plain, without salt added: 17.56g (31%RDA)
3. Nuts, cashew butter, plain, with salt added: 17.56g (31%RDA)
4. Nuts, cashew nuts, oil roasted, without salt added: 16.84g (30%RDA)
5. Nuts, cashew nuts, oil roasted, with salt added: 16.84g (30%RDA)
As mentioned above, cashew is rich in healthy fatty acids. But the omega – 3 fatty acids content in these nuts is low compared to some other nuts. According to an article in the October 2004 issue of the "Journal of the Canadian Medical Association," 100 g of cashew oil contains only 0.14 g of Omega-3 fatty acids (6).
On the other hand, the ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3 is quite favorable and according to a 2007 article published in the "Pakistani Journal of Nutrition," this helps in lowering the omega 6 fatty acids that are harmful to your overall health.
They are also rich in Omega 9 fatty acids that can be found in olive oil.
Almonds are rich in magnesium and daily intake of magnesium may reduce the development of diabetes 2. Cashew is also rich in magnesium, similar to almonds and they are most beneficial as a brain booster, and it is highly favorable as lowering blood tension.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E and are the best source of this vitamin this is a good vitamin to lower some heart diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease and have more fiber than cashew.
Almond can reduce appetite and it is a great calorie intake. As a plus, vitamin E dissolves fat. It is used for producing marzipan, a delicious confection used in sweets.
Cashew, as mentioned, is the best alternative to antidepressants as they are rich in mood-stabilizing vitamin B6 and tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates moods. It is also very rich in zinc and iron that help your immune system and healthy vision.
The best solution is to mix the nuts and try to eat them unsalted of course, as this is a healthier version.
Cashew butter is made in the same way as peanut butter. The only difference is the nuts used. Cashew butter has fewer calories and more protein than almond butter for example. It is richer in iron than other nut butter so, it is a great solution as an iron supplement. But be careful as cashew butter is rich in sodium and this may lead to high blood pressure.
The table below presents the nutrition facts of single-serving of 2 tbsp of cashew butter.
Serving Size 2 Tbsp
Cashew is not as popular as other nuts for making milk yogurt that can substitute ordinary cow milk, but this nut offers a unique creamy dairy-like taste experience. It has a very thick and velvet structure, so it will remind you of crème fresh when you get it prepared. It offers a richer consistency than almond milk, for example.
You already know all the benefits the cashew offer, so the yogurt offers them as well. It is lower in fat and contains all the minerals needed for the day plus is rich in iron and zinc. They are important for your overall health and immune system and can fight anemia.
It contains many probiotic cultures to protect your digestive system. It is so easy to make it and you need 3 ingredients only: water, probiotics, and cashew.