Cashews, with their distinguishing buttery taste and their kidney shape contain L-tryptophan, an important amino acid in which the body turns into serotonin. Serotonin is a critical neurotransmitter for the normal function of the brain and a significant contributing factor in a good mood and mental health. In fact many drugs used to treat depression impact serotonin production in the body.
While many recent articles have claimed that cashews are a healthy replacement for an antidepressant drug, there is little specific evidence to support this claim. Depression is a serious situation that can arise from a variety of causes and has many influencing factors that is why it needs to be monitored by a qualified expert.
Even they are or not the natural antidepressant, cashews have extraordinary health benefits. But always raw and unsalted!
They are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6 along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium, potassium, and manganese. Although they contain a lot of fat, which are mostly monounsaturated, known as good fats that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Beyond their antidepressant effect:
- Lower the blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels
- Have anti-cancer effect and keep you away from colon cancer with proanthocyanidins which fight against tumor cells by stopping them to divide further
- Protect the bones, nerves and eye health
- Prevent gallstones
- Protect the teeth, gums and hair health
- Boost the immune system
- Help the weight loss by keeping us full with only one handful between the meals
What else do you need to hear before you include them in your diet ?!
For the vegan cheese cream from cashews you will need:
- 150gr cashew nuts raw
- 30gr nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1 tbsp white miso ( you can find it in healthy food shops or Asian food shops )
- 230ml dairy-free milk, unsweetened
- salt, pepper, ground nutmeg………. and your blender!!
- Soak the cashews in a bowl with water overnight
- Drain them well and you put them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients
- Blend until becoming a thick but smooth cream
- Add more milk, if needed to create the consistency you want
It is ready!! You can store in the fridge for up to three days.
Perfect for boiled or grilled vegetables, pasta, nachos, or kale chips, crispy thin bread!