Walnuts: Your Brain’s New Best Friend

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Walnuts have long been lauded as heart-healthy. But exciting new research reveals that these wrinkly nutritional powerhouses also boost brain health in numerous ways. Let's crack open the science behind walnuts as a stellar brain food.

In form and function, walnuts eerily resemble our brain - the ultimate example of "you are what you eat." Beyond appearances, walnuts nourish the brain by delivering a wealth of neuroprotective compounds like vitamin E[1], melatonin[2], folate and polyphenols[3] possessing strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.

Additionally, walnuts contain vitamin B6[4], iron[5], zinc[6], potassium[7], selenium[8] and magnesium[9] required for proper neurological function. This nutritional profile explains walnuts' expansive effects throughout the nervous system.

A cross-section of walnut even mirrors the brain's distinct left and right hemispheres. This may be more than a coincidence when research shows eating walnuts greatly enhances inferential reasoning skills that integrate both halves of the brain[10].

After 8-weeks consuming walnuts, college students improved inferential verbal reasoning by 11.2% compared to controls. Researchers attributed enhanced cognitive performance to walnuts' high levels of omega-3 alpha linolenic acid and antioxidants[10].

Increased blood flow likely also plays a role. Upon consuming walnuts, imaging reveals significant enhancement of blood flow to the brain's frontal cortex responsible for executive function like memory, learning and decision-making[11]. This brain-boosting impact was equivalent to that seen with beet juice[11].

So next time you're looking to feed your head, reach for a handful of walnuts. Protecting our precious brains requires eating more scrumptious "brain food" - and science confirms walnuts fit the bill.

Additional walnut health benefits include:

  1. Lower "bad" LDL cholesterol
  2. Raise "good" HDL cholesterol
  3. Reduce cardiovascular disease risk
  4. Decrease inflammation
  5. Inhibit prostate & breast cancer growth
  6. Improve male fertility parameters
  7. Enhance detoxification
  8. Support bone health
  9. Boost gut microbiome diversity
  10. Alleviate symptoms of diabetes
  11. Slow tumor growth
  12. Aid weight management
  13. Extend lifespan

To learn more about the biological and medical marvels of walnuts, ready Sayer Ji's article Why Walnut Resembles the Brain It Nourishes


[1] Fukuda et al. 2003

[2] Li et al. 2006 [3] Vinson & Cai 2012

[4] USDA FoodData Central

[5] USDA FoodData Central

[6] USDA FoodData Central

[7] USDA FoodData Central

[8] USDA FoodData Central

[9] USDA FoodData Central

[10] Pribis & Shukitt-Hale 2009

[11] Sanchez-Gonzalez et al. 2017

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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