In addition to being delicious and rich in nutritive value, walnuts are also widely considered to be “brain foods” that help promote brain health and help prevent dementia and mental illness.
A study conducted by the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities found that rats with a diet rich in walnuts had improved memory and motor development and significantly reduced anxiety.
More recently, research by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA confirms this: adults who eat walnuts have a stronger cognitive function than those who do not eat walnuts.
The benefits of eating walnuts in moderation
Helpful brain health:
- Contains phosphatidylcholines. This is a set of lipid fats that help the brain process and store information faster.
- Studies have also shown that it protects the brain from beta amyloid protein. This protein is often present in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Contains antioxidants, vitamin E and other neuroprotective vitamins and minerals.
- Provides essential fatty acids to help boost mood.
Help heart health:
- Contains alpha-linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps reduce plaque buildup in the coronary arteries.
- May help prevent or control cancer cells.