The incredible health benefits of walnuts have been making us nuts…in a good way. We owe our thanks to Mother Nature for giving us one of the best foods for our brains and longevity. It is no coincidence that brain shaped foods can provide optimal brain benefits. In fact, walnuts have almost twice as many antioxidants as other commonly consumed nuts such as almonds, peanuts, and pistachios. They are packed with a high concentration of DHA (a type of Omega-3 fatty acid) and polyphenols.
Polyphenols play an important role in fighting free radicals and cancer cells, and protecting your cardiovascular system. Omega-3’s are known to be one of the fundamental building blocks of the brain, critical for brain health in both infants and adults and have been studied to boost mood and improve cognition. In fact, in a recent study done by the University of New Mexico, they found that supplementation with walnuts seemed to have the ability to improve mood in healthy, non-depressed males.
Women, you are not left out on the benefits of these little gems. A study in 2009 was done by Harvard where they studied 140,000 women over a ten-year period. They reported that the women who ate walnuts regularly trimmed their risk for developing type 2 diabetes up to 24% compared to those who ate them only on rare occasion.
More Amazing Benefits
Not only are walnuts inexpensive, convenient and packed with brain-benefits, they are also full of high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and can fall into a dairy-free, gluten-free, or a Mediterranean diet.
If you are worried about the fat content of nuts or that they will cause weight gain, fear no more. Nuts contain healthful polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats, rather than saturated fats found in foods like butter. Plus, being protein and fiber packed, walnuts keep you full for longer periods of time, so you won’t be swayed to snack on unhealthy snacks that often cause unwanted or unintentional weight gain.
You Don’t Need to Go Crazy
The best part about all of these amazing characteristics of walnuts: you only need around 7 a day to reap all the health benefits they can offer! That’s right, you don’t need to go crazy, spending a fortune on your groceries and incorporating walnuts in bulk into every single meal. Just a handful each day will get you the benefits you want! Here are a few of Tana’s delicious recipes to include some walnuts into any meal, even dessert! Of course, we always love throwing a few on top of our salads for a quick and easy way to get our walnut fix.
Find more great recipes from Tana for your brain-healthy life in The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.