Not only are nuts seriously tasty take-anywhere-snacks, they are also jam-packed with nutrients that contribute to protecting cognitive function and mental wellbeing.
The nutrients that nuts contain include antioxidants, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamins like A and E, among other things.
Specifically, walnuts – which are the only nut that has a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) a plant-based omega-3 – are really beneficial to mental wellness!
Funny, seeing as they look so much like a human brain!
Almonds are also really good mood-boosters because they contain folate and the amino acid tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine.
Almonds also are high in magnesium, a key mineral in powering the brain’s metabolic activity.
And all the antioxidants, including quercetin, help to protect our brain cells from oxidative damage.
Almonds are also rich in phenylalanine, an essential amino acid necessary for the production of dopamine and adrenaline, and they are high in riboflavin, which may boost memory.
Cashews are also a great food thanks to being rich in magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan, which can boost serotonin – helping to stabilise both mood and sleep cycles.
Like phenylalanine, tryptophan is an essential amino acid. That means it has to be consumed because our bodies cannot make it.
So, the next time you need a quick snack, why not go nuts for nuts?
- Try a glass of almond or cashew milk, or pour over cereal or make with porridge.
- Sprinkle nuts over porridge or yoghurt.
- Carry a snack box full of nuts and keep in your changing bag or in the car for those moments in the day when hunger strikes.
- Nut-butter spread over sliced apple is a delicious snack that the children can also enjoy making, as well as eating.