What are the best brain foods?You have heard of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids in improving your physical and mental health. Well now you are going to learn that walnuts have been found to be an excellent source of Omega-3, a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Research has found the chemicals in walnuts can block the metabolic pathways that lead to cancer, and detoxify cancer-causing chemicals that prevent cancer cells from multiplying.

The human body needs Omega-3 fatty acids, but is not able to produce it. It plays an important role in our normal growth and development. Since our bodies do not naturally produce the fatty acids it has to come from food. Fish is the primary source, the main ones being salmon, tuna, and halibut. It can also be found in seafood including algae and krill, as well as some plants and nut oils.

Omega-3 is also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and plays a crucial role in normal growth and development of the body and brain. It has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, so the American Heart Association recommends eating fish, especially pink fish, at least 2 times a week.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids also reduces inflammation, and may help lower risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive performance and memory, as well as behavioral functions. Is has been shown from these studies that infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems in development. Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

As crazy as it may sound, Diamond Foods, the producers of walnuts and other nuts, has been attacked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for claiming walnuts have health value, such as a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. According to the FDA, even though this information is entirely true, current law makes it illegal for food producers to share some scientific information about their problems with the public. There is research to support Diamond Foods’ claims.

According to a supporting letter from the FDA to Diamond Foods, “Studies indicate that the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts may help lower cholesterol; protect against heart disease, stroke and some cancers; ease arthritis and other inflammatory diseases; and even fight depression and other mental illnesses.”

They went on to state, “Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the tumor growth that is promoted by the acids found in other fats… “ And, “In treating major depression, for example, omega-3s seem to work by making it easier for brain cell receptors to process mood-related signals from neighboring neurons.” In addition, “The omega-3s found in fish oil are thought to be responsible for the significantly lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women as compared to women in the United States.”

With all this evidence, they still are not allowed to make a health claim about their walnuts – so we will for them. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and it recommended as a brain food to help improve memory. They make great snacks, and can be baked in dishes or added to salads, cooked greens, yogurt and oatmeal.



About the author:

Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life. 



Dr. Mercola – This Popular Nut Slashed Breast Cancer Risk in Mice by 50% : http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/07/fda-says-walnuts-are-drugs.aspx?e_cid=20120307_DNL_art_1

Wikipedia – Omega-3 Fatty Acids: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid

University of Maryland Medical Center – Omega-3 fatty acids: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

Nutritional Choice – Walnuts: http://www.karenrothnutrition.com