Why nuts—and which nuts? Nuts are chock full of nutrients that have been associated with better brain health. Walnuts (especially the English and Persian varieties) are probably the best over all. As with other nuts, they are great sources of antioxidants and vitamin E—but they are also the nut highest in Omega-3 fatty acids. As one study showed, higher walnut consumption (an average of about 10 grams per day, a small handful at most) improved cognitive performance on a battery of tests.
Almonds and hazelnuts are two fantastic sources of vitamin E, and vitamin E intake has been associated with less age-related cognitive decline. In one study, people who received vitamin E improved statistically and clinically in memory and verbal measures, while participants who received a placebo did not. About a third of Americans do not get enough vitamin E.
Pistachios are also a great choice, as recent research has shown they contain several types of antioxidant compounds that can be beneficial to the brain and body. Interestingly, from a nutritional perspective, pistachios have more in common with fruits and vegetables than with other types of nuts. You may have noticed that pistachios are more colorful than other nuts. Their green, yellow, and purple shading correlate with their beneficial antioxidants. The purple color comes from anthocyanins, which are the powerful brain-boosting nutrients found in blueberries. The yellow color can be attributed to beta carotene, lutein, and polyphenols, which are found in olive oil, grapes, and other healthy fruits and seeds. Go to article for more.
Originally posted on BrainHQ.