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Are Walnuts Good For Your Brain? More Than You Think!

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Walnut Brain Power

Our brain is an amazing powerhouse for our bodies. It controls so many functions. Up to 20% of your metabolism is due to brain activity alone. Thanks to the omega-3,(DHA) fatty acid and antioxidant content, walnuts can improve brain function. Therefore, whenever you feel a bit sluggish, just eat a handful of walnuts and you’ll get an immediate boost that will help you continue your work. DHA has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline.

They Are Fantastic! 

Besides Omega-3, walnuts also contain manganese, copper, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium all nutrients which are important to good health. They are made up of 15 to 20 percent protein and contain linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids), vitamin E and vitamin B6, making them an excellent source of nourishment for your nervous system.

They can also improve your sleep quality thanks to the high levels of melatonin they contain. The fact that proper sleep helps fight the signs of aging means walnuts are an effective anti-aging superfood. Like many antidepressants, they work to boost the brain’s serotonin levels.

The Three Species We’ll Discuss 

While the black and English walnuts are the most prevalent in the United States, there are about 20 different species of the walnut tree. I’ll familiarize you with the three that are most well to walnut lovers.

I’m one and I make sure I eat my share of them.

English / Persian (Juglans regia)

As the most commonly consumed walnut in the United States, the English walnut is characterized by a thin, gnarled shell enclosing a smooth, ivory-colored nut. English walnuts have a mild taste and are often roasted for many recipes that require them. This kind of walnut originated in India near the Caspian Sea. Hence, the alternate moniker, Persian — where ancient Romans discovered them in 4th Century A.D. and shipped the walnuts to Europe, where they continue to flourish. Centuries later, the English walnut was introduced to North America due to British mercantilism, and since gained the name “English walnut.”

Black (Juglan nigra)

Less common than the English nut, black nuts are characterized by a thick, hard shell with sharp, jagged edges and a darker color. Contrary to the English nut’s milder flavor, black nuts are known for their pungent aroma and robust flavor and can replace English nuts in many recipes. Black nuts are native to North America and mostly grow wild across the Appalachian area and the Mississippi Valley. They can really get your hands black and dirty.

White / Butternut (Juglan cinerea)

 

 

The white nut is the rarest variety of walnut and considered an endangered species by the United States and Canadian governments. Similar in origin to black nuts, white nuts can be found in the Mississippi Valley and the Appalachian area, as well as Canada. A sweet, oily flavor characterizes these nuts, which are covered with a green, fuzzy husk and protected by a light-colored shell with jagged edges.


Case Study

Studies have found that people with higher nut consumption have improved cardiovascular risk factors and lower rates of cardiovascular disease. For example, several trials have linked nut consumption with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And nuts are an important part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been found to be heart-healthy as well.

A new study suggests that walnuts are an extremely good choice and this isn’t the first time researchers have come to this conclusion. A previous analysis by the same researchers (including 365 study participants in 13 trials) found that diets enriched with walnuts led to lower total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol when compared with other diets. Since then, more studies with far more study participants and longer follow-up have been published.

This latest analysis combined data from 26 previous trials that included more than 1,000 people; compared with those on a regular diet, those consuming a walnut-enriched diet had:

lower total cholesterol (by about 7 mg/dL, representing a 3% greater reduction)
lower LDL cholesterol (by about 5.5 mg/dL, a 4% greater reduction)
lower triglycerides (by about 5.7 mg/dL, a 5.5% greater reduction)
lower apoprotein B (a protein linked to cardiovascular disease) by nearly 4 mg/dL

While these improvements in blood lipids were rather small, larger improvements (for example, a 12 mg/dL drop in total cholesterol) were noted when the comparison diet was a typical US or western diet (that is, a diet high in red meats, high-fat dairy foods, and artificially sweetened foods).

A diet rich in high-fat foods such as nuts always raises the concern about the potential for weight gain, but fortunately, those on the high-walnut diet did not gain weight.

Anti Inflammatory Capabilities

Whole walnuts and walnut oil can both reduce the effects of inflammation and prevent various conditions caused by such a response from the immune system. This is due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Some of these conditions are asthma, psoriasis, allergies, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Even Gut Relief

Some adults who have eaten just 1/3 cup of walnuts a day for 3 weeks saw an increase in beneficial gut bacteria the types that may help improve colon health, decrease inflammation, promote better insulin sensitivity and help protect the colon from inflammation caused by digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis. Walnuts are composed of a complex array of biologically active constituents with individual cancer-protective properties.

We often hear about fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, or kimchi as ways to boost gut health. Now, you might be able to add walnuts to that list!

Walnuts Can Help

-Prevents heart disease
-Prevents diabetes
-Boost your sperm quality
-Can keep dementia at bay
-Prevents pancreatic cancer
-Helps you live longer Great for pregnant women
-Reduces breast cancer risk
-Helps prevent forming of kidney stone
-Increases Immunity
-For Constipation and better digestive system

The possibilities and the goodness of walnuts in foods, salads, and desserts are indeed endless.

Why don’t you leave a comment below if you found this article helpful to you in any way?

 

Disclaimer: The information on this page has not been evaluated by the FDA. Anyone who believes they have a serious medical condition or health issue should seek diagnoses from a qualified medical professional before making any decisions on how to best address their health. I do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent illness or disease. All products featured on this video or page must be considered nutritional products only.

Photo Credits
Photo by Oziel Gómez from Pexels
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

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6 thoughts on “Are Walnuts Good For Your Brain? More Than You Think!

  1. Hi Stori,

    It’s a good short and detailed article about walnuts sold in the U.S. I didn’t know there are 20 species of walnuts grown there.

    I would like to add besides walnuts there are different foods that improve gut bacteria such as garlic, onions and sauerkraut.

    Now there are more food items to add to your list!
    Regards
    Joseph

    1. Thank you Joseph for your comments. I’m glad you took the time to read my article. I happen to be the onion and garlic queen. I have promised myself on serveral occasions, that I would buy sauerkraut and eat that as well to practice what I preach. I actually have another article on my website regarding Leaky Gut Syndrome so yes its very important to keep the gut in balance.
      My Best to you,
      Stori

  2. Great write up about walnuts Stori, I have been taking a handful of nuts daily for a while now as it was recommended in the mediterranean diet. It is not always walnuts I eat but I do have them often. Changing my eating habits to a more mediterranean way of eating has helped me shed 56lb over the last year and walnuts were a big help as a snack between meals.
    Thanks for showing us the health benefit of walnuts.
    Frank

    1. Congratulations Frank on you weight loss of 56lbs this year. That’s a big accomplishment. I love walnuts and snack on them as well. Thank you for stopping by Omega Health Life and reading about some of the benefits of walnuts. Feel free to drop by at anytime.
      -Stori

  3. Great article Stori. I’m huge fan of walnuts, and confirm its positive impact on health. I verify my level of cholesterol and I noticed that since I had changed my diet I started eating more walnuts my total cholesterol decreased.

    1. That’s great to hear that you have experienced the power in walnuts for yourself.Continue to enjoy them and thank you for visiting Omega Health Life.
      -Stori

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