Here is a sad statistic. How many Americans over the age of 18 will experience a major depressive disorder this year? 6.7% That’s equivalent to 14.8 million people. (DBSA) This is an insane amount of people, and many of them will resort to prescription medication like Prozac.

Prozac is an oral drug used for treating depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). (RXList)

According to RXList, Minor Side Effects to Prozac include:

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
  • drowsiness, dizziness, feeling nervous;
  • mild nausea, upset stomach, constipation;
  • increased appetite, weight changes;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or
  • dry mouth.

More Serious Side Effects Include:

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, overactive reflexes;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination;
  • A headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops; or
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

However, there is a natural alternative available. A couple of handfuls of cashews may be the therapeutic equivalent to a prescription dose of Prozac.

As it turns out, cashews contain niacin and tryptophan, and, according to some, two handfuls of cashews contain a “therapeutic amount” of tryptophan, enough to alter and elevate your mood. The real measurement, apparently, is three and a half ounces of cashews, about a one-half cup, which provides approximately 470 mg of tryptophan. (HER)

This is great news for people who want a more natural response to their depression or for those who react terribly to Prozac. Also, cashews are delicious! And now they come in milk and butter form. Yum! Furthermore, you can easily take cashews and turn them into something you can eat everyday to keep depression at bay.

But cashews do more than improve mood. Other health benefits of cashews include improved heart, bone, and oral health, diabetes relief, improved nerve and muscle function, and relief of anemia and gallstones. They are also full of antioxidants that encourage a better immune system and aid in the formation of red blood cells.

Listen to this story about a woman who was dosed with niacin to fight her depression. Niacin is found in cashews.

What do you think? Would you ditch Prozac for cashews?