3 Best Nuts For A Healthy Brain, According To Doctors–They Improve Memory, Mood, And Focus – SheFinds

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Many factors contribute to your brain health, but one of the most important things to consider is undoubtedly your diet. While there are many processed foods out there that could contribute to brain fog and other cognitive issues, there are also so many delicious, nutrient-rich superfoods you can add to your plate for a healthier brain. If you’re craving a brain-healthy snack, one of the best options is some good old nuts.

But there are tons of nuts out there—so which are the best for your brain? To find out, we spoke to physician and nutritionist Naheed Ali, MD, PhD. He told us that walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios stand out as superstars when it comes to enhancing cognitive function. Learn more about the benefits of each below.


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1. Walnuts

At the forefront of Dr. Ali’s recommendations are walnuts. He explains, “These uniquely wrinkled nuts are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid crucial for neurological and cardiovascular health.” Omega-3s play a pivotal role in building and repairing brain cell membranes, fostering the creation of new neural pathways that enhance memory and cognitive function. Additionally, walnuts are rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which can bolster cognitive performance, focus, and mood regulation by increasing signaling molecules in the brain.



2. Almonds

Next up are almonds, packed with vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that combats oxidative stress in the brain, a key contributor to cognitive decline. Dr. Ali highlights, “The high vitamin E content also enhances the plasticity and regeneration of brain neurons, forming fresh neural connections for sharper recall and quicker information processing speeds.” Moreover, almonds provide a steady source of protein and fiber, offering sustained energy levels ideal for maintaining focus without the dreaded blood sugar spikes. Try eating them by the handful or adding them to a bowl of protein-packed Greek yogurt.



3. Cashews

When a quick mental pick-me-up is needed, cashews are the go-to choice. Dr. Ali points out, “Packed with zinc, magnesium, and copper, these curved kidneys help synthesize dopamine – a neurotransmitter governing motivation, productivity, and attentiveness.” Adequate zinc is also vital for preserving the sense of smell, intricately linked to memory formation.



4. Pistachios

For balanced hormone regulation and mood stability, pistachios come highly recommended. Dr. Ali emphasizes, “Loaded with vitamin B6, they facilitate production of feel-good serotonin and GABA, the calming neurotransmitter.” Additionally, pistachios contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect neurons from environmental stressors, ensuring mental clarity.

nuts on shelves


Bottom line

While all nuts provide a bounty of brain-essential nutrients, incorporating a variety into your diet can offer comprehensive benefits. Dr. Ali advises, “Keep a rotation of different nuts on hand for easy snacking. A medley of walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios covers your bases for sharpening recall, enhancing mental stamina, and stabilizing moods.” However, it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes, as nuts are dense in calories.

All in all, nuts are indeed, as Dr. Ali calls them, nature’s brain candies, offering a delicious and convenient way to support cognitive function. By incorporating these nutrient-packed nuts into a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, you can keep your brain sharp for years to come.

READ MORE: The Brain-Healthy Habits Health And Food Experts Swear By For A Sharper Mind And Better Sleep

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