Walnuts for Mental Health
What would the humble walnut have to do with mental health? Have you ever noticed just how similar the walnut is to the human brain? Crack open its shell and the resemblance is quite uncanny. For millennia the walnut has been renowned for brain health and improving your mental health, or your simply your mood. Why is this? What makes walnuts so special? Well, this is why I decided to write a blog about walnuts for mental health. I believe it’s important to know what to eat and that food is actually medicine.
It’s all down to the omega oils in the nut.
The walnut has amongst the highest proportion of omega 3 fatty acids of all the nuts. This speaks volumes about the kinds of foods we ought to be consuming in our diets. With so much emphasis placed on being thin or athletic, young people especially are choosing to cut out foods that are filled with ‘fat’. Now there are ‘bad fats’, such as trans fatty acids found in highly processed foods, which we all ought to be avoiding, but there are also ‘good fats’ that we all must consume. Fats aren’t bad. Your omega fats are not called ‘essential fatty acids’ for no reason. They are quite simply essential to your health, well-being and above all your brain health.
It’s interesting to consider this when observing just how big a problem depression and anxiety have become in the 21st century. Could this have something to do with the lack of omega-3 oils in our diets due to reducing our fat intake?
Omega-3 fats help to form the outer-lining of cells, giving them the ability to communicate with each other. This is crucial for allowing the movement of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin to function properly and move throughout our brain cells. Without enough of healthy fats in your diet, this function suffers leading to feelings of anxiety, stress, cravings, fatigue and mood swings.
Whats also true is by eating 3 or 4 walnuts halves before a meal can help you to register as full sooner and feel less hungry throughout the day. Ironically adding some good fats to your diet can actually help you to lose weight too.
7 whole walnuts provide:
- 187 calories
- 5 grams fat
- 4 grams protein
- 2 grams fibre
- Less than 1 gram sugar
- 4 grams carbohydrates
- 4 milligrams manganese (48 percent RDA)
- 4 milligrams copper (22 percent RDA)
- 45 milligrams magnesium (11 percent RDA)
- 98 milligrams phosphorus (10 percent RDA)
- 2 milligrams vitamin B6 (8 percent RDA)
- 7 milligrams folate (7 percent RDA)
- 1 milligram thiamine (6 percent RDA)
- Supports good mental health (click for reference)
- Improves memory
- Prevents dementia and Alzheimers disease (click for reference)
- Improves heart health
- Helps prevent cancer
- Supports weight loss
- Supports reproductive health
If you enjoyed this blog on walnuts for mental health, then read our blog about how to use lemon balm for calming you down in a crisis.