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 healthy fats that keep a brain healthy, happy, and living a long life.
Walnuts And Brain Health
So let’s talk about walnuts. Walnuts are excellent for brain health (they look like brains, too), and I’ll give you a little anecdote. I was suffering from a little bit of job burn-out, and I was speaking to a pathologist about, y’know, what are his health habits. Dr. Michael Ben showed me his workout routine and weight lifting routine, and we were out in Miami, walking the beach, and I asked him, “what is your breakfast routine?” After having done a run on the beach, we’d made this beautiful breakfast. He said, “Walnuts.”
He takes a bunch of walnuts and puts them in a yogurt smoothie with honey and ginseng, and that’s his morning routine. Since then, I’ve developed much more around my morning routine, 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 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 primarily 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 percentages of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA. It’s a kind of fatty acid that’s also found, say, in flax seeds and predatory fish, like salmon and 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 save the heart, the liver, the stomach, and every organ in your body connected to the nervous system. Everything connects to the nervous system.
Amongst the other things that DHA protects against, it protects against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and any cognitive decline. It covers and enhances development in puberty and childhood.
I say, just a quarter cup of walnuts per day, and that’s just this much. Okay, take a handful of walnuts and sprinkle them on your oatmeal. Or put them in a smoothie, or eat them straight out. To increase the absorption of walnuts, squirt a bit of lemon juice in your mouth as you eat. That is going to increase the absorption of what’s in the walnuts. You could also have some walnuts with a little coconut oil. There’s plenty of oil in walnuts, which is what is fantastic about walnuts. The absorption of nutrients happens fast because walnuts are high in fat.
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