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Go Nuts to Boost Your Cognitive Health

Go Nuts to Boost Your Cognitive Health

Research shows that nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios and peanuts, provide brain-enhancing nutrients.

Nuts might be small, but they pack big brain power. A study published in the FASEB Journal found that pistachios get the biggest response from gamma waves. Gamma waves are responsible for building cognitive processing, information retention, learning, perception and rapid eye movement during sleep. Peanuts trigger the greatest delta wave response, which is associated with a healthy immune system, healing and deep sleep.

Moreover, all nuts pack cognitive-enhancing flavonoids and polyphenols that also help fight off cancers and heart disease. In fact, the flavonoids in nuts support the growth of new neurons and improve blood flow in the brain. Among all nuts, walnuts are the biggest source of flavonoids.

In another study, researchers followed more than 200,000 people for an average of 32 years and found that eating more nuts was tied to a lower risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Walnuts came out on top again: Eating them two to three times a week was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of heart problems. Peanuts and other tree nuts also ranked high on the heart-protection list.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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