This news makes me happy, because I really LOVE walnuts, which are one of the highest omega 3 content nuts out there. Sure, they’re high in fat, but that fat is actually good for you and has shown some serious promise as a weapon against heart disease and stroke already when they are consumed in small amounts every day.
Now you can also add brain protective benefits to the list of benefits that these nuts have as well as proven in a recent study that was carried out in Spain, one of the countries where diets rich in nuts and olive oils and other omega 3 fat rich oils is already common.
In fact, these studies were spawned BECAUSE countries like France and Spain where people tend to consume large amounts of these oils, as well as large amounts of red wine (another protective food according the many studies), tend to have less obesity, less overall heart and degenerative health issues, and generally live longer and healthier lives.
These protective fatty acids which are found in abundance in nuts and the oil that those nuts produce, as well as the oils from certain vegetables and fruits, have now also been affirmatively linked to brain and cognitive function protection and even improvement.
Those that consume a diet rich in these oils and nuts tend to express less degenerative brain function such as alzheimers and dementia, which is another common sign of aging and deteriorating condition of the brain and its various functions.
In the study that reviewed such protective properties, subjects were supplied with nuts that were notoriously high in these fatty acids such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts.
The researchers followed study volunteers for several years and the bottom line (eliminating some of the details for sake of brevity) is that the group that was assigned to add the nuts or oils to their diet every day exhibited significantly less brain function depletion as well as a lesser reporting of things like confused thinking, fogginess and general confusion and lack of focus.
This seems to confirm the hypothesis that these nuts and fatty acid oils have some sort of brain boosting power. These nuts also have a very filling effect, so they help you to maintain a stable blood sugar much longer than “empty” calorie foods. I know that if I add a couple tablespoons of nuts to my morning breakfast, it holds me over much longer and allows me to think much clearer, much longer than if I just had straight protein or carbs without the healthy fats added.
Here are some great ways I’ve found it convenient (and super tasty) to add healthy nuts in to my daily diet.
1.) Add some walnuts or plain slivered almonds to your morning cereal or hot oatmeal. I personally find walnuts more filling and satisfying, but that is probably because they have a much fattier and more rich consistency than almonds.
2.) Add them to an Asian style stir fry. Walnuts or almonds are both great this way. Sesame oil also contains these healthy fats, and is very complimentary to these types of dishes.
3.) Eat a small hand full for a snack. You can keep small snack size bags around for a prepackaged, calorie-controlled and highly satisfying snack.
4.) Add almonds or walnuts crushed to the top of your vegetables. They really add a great flavor and full bodied texture!
5.) Add them to your yogurt for a snack or for breakfast. I kind of wish I wasn’t burned out on yogurt a long time ago, it is tasty sometimes, and it’s perfectly conducive to nuts – especially when you add some fruit on top too!