Wise-up Wednesday: Walnuts

The likeness of walnut shell to the human brain is wonder-filled because of its amazing benefits directly to brain function.  The walnut looks like a mini brain with the two hemispheres mimicking the cerebral cortex.

The walnut helps develop more than three dozen neuro-transmitters for brain function.

Walnuts are recommended widely as brain fuel for many reasons, one important one is their healthy supply of omega-3 fatty acids which help keep the brain functioning normally.  If you are low on omega-3 intake, research shows you may be at risk for depression and cognitive degeneration.  Walnuts raise melatonin levels which promotes positive sleep.

The walnut is also considered heart healthy as it reduces cholesterol. This nut is a powerhouse of nutrients – manganese, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus.  Walnuts contain more antioxidants, folic acid and vitamin E than any other nut, and specifically black walnuts have the highest content (among nuts) of an amino acid called argenine which is essential for cell division and protein synthesis.

Adding this super nut to your diet may help boost your memory according to a new Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease report. Researchers found that eating walnuts as part of a Mediterranean diet was associated with better memory and brain function. The antioxidants in walnuts may help counteract age-related cognitive decline and even reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

Eating a daily ounce or so of walnuts gives you a whole handful of benefits. Try adding them to oatmeal, salads, banana bread, or even crushed as a crumb coating for fish or chicken.  Some are known to toss them in the blender with their smoothies after soaking the walnut halves in water.

So in concluding today’s brain byte:  Picture the brain-shaped walnut in your mind now – it is your visual trigger to eat these healthy nuts to boost brain function!

Note: This is not intended to be medical advice.  Please consult your doctor before making any significant dietary changes.

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