The nuts and dry fruits that we eat can have a big impact on the structure and brain health in human beings. Eating a brain-boosting diet rich in nuts for brain health can support both short- and long-term brain function. The brain is an energy-intensive organ, using around 20 percent of the body’s calories, so it needs plenty of good fuel to maintain concentration throughout the day and nuts are considered to be one of the most natural superfoods grown on the face of this earth.
Brain health is also dependent on certain nutrients to stay optimum and sharp. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, help build and repair brain cells, and antioxidants reduce cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Eating more nuts and seeds may be good for the brain, as these foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. A 2014 study found that a higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age. Nuts and seeds are also rich sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
As a person ages, their brain may be exposed to this form of oxidative stress, and vitamin E may therefore support brain health in older age. A 2014 review found that vitamin E may also contribute to improved cognition and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Nuts that help optimize brain health
Peanuts, groundnuts or singdana as we call it is an Indian culinary favourite whenever condiments are discussed. It is ground, broken or then just sprinkled whole over delicious and quirky dishes. Peanuts are also incredible protein boosters to any diet. They are easy to find, largely less expensive than nuts that are classified as dry fruits and are packed with essential nutrients like polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and amino acids.
100 g of peanuts tend to contain about 567 calories, 25.80 g of protein, 49.24 g of fat, 16.13 g of carbs, 8.50 g of fibre and 4.72 g of sugar.
Apart from fostering brain health peanuts lower the risk of heart disease, various cancers and are also help with losing weight. The protein content in peanuts also brings benefits like better skin, hair, muscles and organ health.
Another Indian kitchen favourite, the almond or Badaam as we commonly know it is considered to be the king of nuts due to its many benefits and exclusive nature. Almonds are used in all forms of Indian cooking including savoury and sweet courses and also as garnishes to bring about the exoticness of a dish. Due to their several health benefits, they are now grown and easily available across several varieties and while they contain a touch less protein than peanuts, they more than make up for it with other nutrients.
100 g of almonds tend to contain about 579 calories, 21.15 g of protein, 49.93 g of fat, 21.55 g of carbs, 12.50 g of fibre and 4.35 g of sugar.
Almonds are an ideal snack for people looking for healthy, protein-rich alternatives unhealthy eating habits. Almonds are a favourite of Indian mothers to give to their children to help improve brain health and powers of concentration.
Ah! Hazelnuts. The nut best known in India to be enjoyed when someone brings you a chocolate from abroad or then the thin crispy coating of everyone’s favourite foreign chocolate, the Ferrero Roche. It is the distinctive flavour of this exotic nut which is what makes it a great accompaniment to everything sweet including desserts and dessert spreads of all sorts. In terms of their protein content though, this particular nut contains the least. However, it is still very healthy and is known to be a proven source of food to lessen cholesterol levels in the body.
100 g of Hazelnuts tend to contain about 628 calories, 14.95 g of protein, 60.75 g of fat, 16.70 g of carbs, 9.7 g of fibre and 4.34 g of sugar.
Hazelnuts are packed with antioxidants which have a whole host of other health benefits apart from helping the brain to function at its most optimum level.
Walnuts or akhrot is grown widely in India and used in all sorts of savoury and dessert dishes across the length and breadth of the country. Its distinct nutty flavour is used often to break the monotony of a pre dominant flavour, usually sweet which is why it is once again a dessert favourite.
Walnuts are a great source of protein, however they are higher in fat content than most other nuts that we talk about. This obviously also increases their calories count. The good thing to note about walnut fats is that the type of fats in them offer several health benefits as well.
100 g of Walnuts tend to contain about 654 calories, 15.23 g of protein, 65.21 g of fat, 13.71 g of carbs, 6.7 g of fibre and 2.61 g of sugar.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid which is an essential fat critically lacking in most diets. This fat not only reduces the risk of some cancers and heart disease, but is key in supporting mental health.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid. Tryptophan has been used to treat chronic insomnia because the body converts it into serotonin, the “feel-good” or “relaxing” hormone, and melatonin, the “sleep hormone.”
100 grams of pumpkin seeds tend to contain 151 calories, 7 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fibre and zero sugar.
A study published in 2005 in Nutritional Neuroscience suggested that consuming tryptophan from a gourd seed alongside a carbohydrate source was comparable to pharmaceutical grade tryptophan for the treatment of insomnia. Having a few pumpkin seeds before bed, with a small amount of carbohydrates such as a piece of fruit, may be beneficial in providing your body with the tryptophan needed for melatonin production.
Have you given a thought to where you buy your nuts and dried fruits? The best way to ensure that they are well packaged, properly sanitized and still fresh is to look for vendors who will help you buy nuts online. Inaaya Snack Smarter is one such vendor who will supply you with nuts and dry fruits till your doorstep and help you achieve your intake of nuts for brain health.