This is Dr. Michael Ben here to speak to you about the benefits of legumes and nuts, specifically today about what kind of nuts release happy chemicals. The nuts release happy chemicals including neurotransmitters, endocrine hormones, and other kinds of healthy fats that keep a brain healthy, happy, and living a long life.
Walnuts And Brain Health
So let’s talk about walnuts, first, ok? Walnuts are amazing for brain health, and I’ll give you a little anecdote. I was suffering myself from a little bit of job burn-out, and I was speaking to a pathologist about, y’know, what are his health habits. He showed me his workout routine, his weight routine, and we were out in Miami, walking the beach, and I asked him, “what is your breakfast routine?” After we’d made this beautiful breakfast, after having done a run on the beach. He said “Walnuts.”
He just takes a bunch of walnuts and puts them in a yogurt smoothie with honey and ginseng, and that’s his morning routine. I’ve developed much more around my morning routine since then, but I always tell people, “start simple.” So if you can add just one simple thing to your breakfast routine, I would say walnuts. Why? I’ll tell you why.
Because walnuts contain some really essential fatty acids that your brain needs to function properly. What are fatty acids? It doesn’t mean that it’s something acidic. Not like, lemon juice. Fatty acids are essentially fat. And if you think of the neurons in the brain, the brain cells that make up the brain, the brain is actually mostly fat. Why? Because fat conducts electricity more efficiently.
Nuts Release Happy Chemicals
So that’s why, walnuts, amongst all other nuts, contain one of the highest percentage of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA. It’s a kind of fatty acid that’s also found say, flax seeds, in carnivorous fish, like salmon, tuna, they’re also present in plankton and shrimp. But, it’s always good to have a variety of foods in your diet. DHA in the brain is shown to protect the brain. It’s also shown to potentially protecting the heart, the liver, the stomach, every organ in your body that’s connected to the nervous system. Everything is connected to the nervous system.
Amongst the other things that DHA protects against, it protects against development of Alzheimer’s disease, and any kind of cognitive decline. It protects and it enhances development in puberty and in childhood.
I say, just a quarter cup of walnuts, per day, and that’s really just this much. Okay, just take a handful of walnuts and sprinkle them on your oatmeal. Or put them in a smoothie, or just eat them straight out. To increase the absorption of walnuts, squirt a bit of lemon juice in your mouth as you’re eating. That is going to increase the absorption of what’s in the walnuts. You could also have some walnuts with maybe a little bit of coconut oil. There’s plenty of oil in walnuts, which is what is amazing about walnuts. They get absorbed, the nutrients get absorbed so well, because walnuts are high in fat.
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