By Temmuz 11, 2023 No Comments


Diet plays a huge role when it comes to preventing brain fog, supporting long-term memory, and even boosting mood. According to numerous scientific studies, the best way to eat with brain health in mind is to eat a plant-forward diet high in leafy greens, other vegetables, nuts and seeds, berries, beans and legumes, whole grains, fish, poultry, and olive oil.

Nuts and seeds are majorly good for brain health because they are high in fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which play crucial roles in supporting the brain. In one study of 3,266 people over 65, people who ate nuts regularly had a 17 percent less risk of cognitive impairment than those who didn’t eat nuts regularly. There’s one nut that brain health experts say is especially good for the brain.

What Is the Best Nut for Brain Health?



When asked what the absolute best nut for brain health was, Dr. Raphael Wald, PsyD, a neurologist with Baptist Health Marcus Neuroscience Institute, and Dr. Annie Fenn, MD, a physician focused on Alzheimer’s prevention, gave the exact same answer: Walnuts.

“Walnuts are the healthiest nut because of the amount of nutrients and healthy fats,” Dr. Wald says. He explains that healthy fats (specifically, polyunsaturated fatty acids and monosaturated fats) are good for controlling blood sugar and preventing heart disease. Dr. Wald explains that there’s a direct connection between heart health and brain health. “This is because heart and vascular health allow the body to more easily supply the brain with nutrients and oxygen that it needs to thrive,” he shares.

Besides being high in polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, Dr. Fenn says that another reason why walnuts are especially great for brain health is that they are high in antioxidants, specifically vitamin E and polyphenols. “These nutrients are important for blocking the inflammation that prematurely ages the brain,” she says. Dr. Fenn points to a 2022 study showing that adding an extra serving of walnuts to the Mediterranean diet was a polyphenol-boosting strategy that resulted in brain volume gains over time. “Walnuts even look like little brains, making it easy to remember they are neuroprotective,” she says.

When buying walnuts, or any nut for that matter, both Dr. Fenn and Dr. Wald say to look for ones that are unsalted, which are lower in sodium.


How To Incorporate Walnuts into Brain-Healthy Snacks and Meals


Incorporating walnuts into your diet is easy, particularly because they can be eaten as-is and can be incorporated into both sweet and savory meals. Dr. Fenn likes to include walnuts in homemade granola, made with oats, dried fruit, and other nuts – all ingredients that also support brain health. Oats are good for brain health because they contain the nutrient choline, which the body needs to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps with memory and learning.

Dr. Fenn also likes to use walnuts when making pesto. (She incorporates pine nuts and pistachios too, for extra brain health benefits.) To make homemade pesto, simply combine these ingredients in a blender with olive oil (also a great source of healthy fats) and spinach (full of brain-healthy antioxidants) and blend until smooth.

Dr. Fenn says that one of the most popular recipes from her cookbook, The Brain Healthy Kitchen: Preventing Alzheimer’s Through Food, is walnut “parm.” In which walnuts combine with garlic, nutritional yeast and miso paste into a crumbly topping that tastes like Parmesan cheese. “It’s the secret ingredient in my turkey parm burgers and turkey zucchini meatballs,” she says. “Sprinkling it on salads and pasta dishes adds great flavor, along with a good dose of healthy fats and antioxidants.”

As you can see, there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate walnuts into your meals and snacks. Brain-healthy foods should fit realistically into your life. “Brain-healthy eating is not a diet that you go on in January, and then go off the next month. It’s a way to enjoy foods that will protect your brain for life,” says Dr. Fenn.

In addition to filling up on brain-healthy foods, Dr. Fenn says to limit or avoid fast and fried foods, pastries and sweets, dairy, processed foods, artificially-sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages – all of which are linked to negatively impact the brain.

That’s it for now my friends; see you all the next time.

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