Men’s Journal (May 2014) had an interesting article on dealing with depression. When depressive episodes occur, it usually signals a drop in the body’s levels of serotonin. Medications which counteract the effects of depression often contain tryptophan since tryptophan provide a natural boost in serotonin.
There are – in fact – foods which are high in tryptophan such as cashews, spinach and game meat. According to Dr. Andrew Saul, a therapeutic nutritionist and editor in chief of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, two handfuls of cashews provide 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of tryptophan which can work as well as prescription antidepressants. The body converts tryptophan into serotonin which can enhance good mood, healthy sleep and feelings of sexual desire. The high levels of Vitamin B6 in cashews may also help stabilize mood. Five ounces of cashews (157 calories per ounce) can provide a middle aged man with his daily intake of magnesium (low levels of magnesium can trigger mild depression).
Bottom line — there’s not a lot of downside to chowing down some cashews. With breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Or as a snack. You’ll feel good about it. 🙂