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How can walnuts make more effective brains

Just because the walnut looks like a brain and says that the walnut is a brain, I am afraid that the brain circuit is too simple, right?


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In the past two days, the Chinese Nutrition Society hosted a “Walnut Nutrition Health Forum”. Two reports at the conference made a relatively positive answer to the “Brain” of walnuts through scientific research.



The first report was a study by the Center for Nutrition and Health of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the researchers, Gong Zhaolong, deputy director of the Laboratory of Nutrition and Health Center of China CDC, introduced the research method in detail.

The study randomly selected 121 junior high school students aged 12-14 years. The intervention group and the control group were 61 patients and 60 patients respectively. Among them, 1 patient in the intervention group did not take the test substance according to the promise, and the subjects were excluded. The standard, the final completion of the experiment is also 60 people).

Then, the two groups of people were given a milk drink containing walnuts (the walnut milk was made from Yunnan Chuxiong in Xinjiang, Xinjiang Aksu and Hebei Zanhuang in the same year, and mixed in a ratio of 1:2:3). Of course, the two groups of students can not drink the difference.

These students are boarding students, who eat in a uniform in the school cafeteria, go home on Friday afternoon, return to school on Sunday afternoon, and eat at home. Samples are distributed every Friday by the school for students to take home to eat on weekends.

The researchers gave the intervention group 2 cans of walnut milk per person per day, equivalent to 24 g/d of walnut. The control group is also a walnut milk drink, but the walnut composition is particularly low. Drink 2 cans per day, and the equivalent of walnut is only 2.4g/d. The other ingredients in the two walnut milks are identical. After 30 days, the clinical memory scale prepared by the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was used to evaluate the memory level of the subjects.

The clinical memory scale is designed as two sets of A and B, which are applicable to the test test twice before and after. The test content includes: pointing to memory, associative learning, image free memory, meaningless graphics recognition and portrait features associative recall. Each sub-test scale is added to the total score, and the memory is divided by the total amount.

The results showed that the three points of the test scores and the memory quotient of the test food group's pointing memory, image free recall and portrait features were higher than before the test. The researchers believe that long-term supplementation of 24 g of walnuts per day has a significant positive effect on student memory. It is also a sweet, creamy white drink with no significant effect on control drinks with very low walnut content.

These efficacy studies have revealed to some extent that walnuts have a good effect on memory, but the mechanism of action remains to be further explained.


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In fact, there are many studies on the health and cognitive functions of nuts, especially walnuts.

Foreign studies have shown that

Increasing the intake of nut foods, especially walnuts, can improve the cognitive ability of middle-aged and elderly people. More nut intake is associated with memory, cognitive flexibility, information processing speed, and overall cognitive improvement (Nooyens ACJ et al, 2011).

Another three-year study shows that

Eat virgin olive oil + 30g of walnut-containing nuts (15g walnut, 7.5g almond, 7.5g medlar) every day, compared to those who only eat virgin olive oil without nuts, or who eat a low-fat diet The concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in plasma has anti-depression and cognitive decline due to aging (S ́anchez et al, 2011).

In addition, a diet rich in walnut or walnut oil can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline associated with aging, and is closely related to the development of cerebrovascular diseases, stroke, and mild cognitive dysfunction.

Adding walnuts to the diet can reduce the inflammatory response in people with hypercholesterolemia and reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. It can also improve endothelium-dependent vasodilation in people with type 2 diabetes and overweight adults. (Ma Y et al, 2010; Zhao G et al, 2004; Katz DL, 2012).

From these aspects, adding some walnut or walnut oil to the diet can really have a beneficial effect on the body, which in turn can promote the healthy state of brain function.



At the meeting, Hong Yan, an associate researcher at the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, also gave a report on "The Nutritional Value of Walnut and the Study of Brain and Brain Function".

Hong Yan pointed out that walnuts contain a variety of nutrients that promote brain development and neuroprotective functions, such as

Its amino acid composition is rich in glutamic acid, arginine, histidine, etc.;

The fatty acid contains both linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid;

Mineral elements contain calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, chromium, etc.;

Vitamins contain thiamine, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin E, etc.

Walnuts are also large polyphenols, such as rutin, gallic acid, and catechins.

In short, walnut is a nutrient and nutrient-rich nut, it is not just as simple as a lot of fat. These ingredients may work synergistically on brain health.

Experts believe that the ingredients in walnuts that promote students' memory ability may come from two main aspects:

- Polyunsaturated fatty acids and phospholipids. The fat component of walnut contains both omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, and is also rich in phospholipids. The content of α-linolenic acid in walnuts is about 10%. It can be converted into DHA in the body by a small amount. This ingredient is important for infant brain development and delays brain aging for the elderly. Previous studies have shown that supplementation of walnut oil has the effect of promoting animal memory.


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Antioxidant substances, especially walnut polyphenols. Previous studies in foreign countries have found that walnut polyphenols promote memory function in mice. The promotion of rat learning was also observed in the walnut cake fraction after the rats were fed with fat. Brain tissue is very sensitive to oxidative damage, and adequate intake of antioxidants is necessary.



In the previous WeChat article, I also said that the benefits of walnuts - rich in protein, fatty acids, vitamins and trace elements, to reduce blood lipids, prevent stroke and coronary heart disease, prevent diabetes, prevent cognitive decline in the elderly, etc. benefit.

So, how do we get the benefits of walnuts in our daily lives?

Many friends have asked questions:

The elderly at home have bad teeth and are inconvenient to eat nuts;

Children at home do not like to eat walnuts, what should I do?

I don't have time to eat walnuts in the morning. When I have enough to eat at night and then eat walnuts, I am afraid of getting fat. What should I do?

In fact, these problems are not difficult to solve. It is entirely possible to make the nutrition of walnuts easy for the whole family through reasonable cooking and matching methods.
For example, the walnuts are slurried to make walnut milk or walnut paste. Walnut is a very suitable ingredient for making pulp. Because it contains both protein and fat, it can be used as an emulsion that is fragrant and smooth. If you add a little thickening stabilizer, such as starch and β-glucan in oatmeal, the taste is even better.

Such a combination may include soy bean oat walnut pulp, walnut lily mixed grain pulp, walnut glutinous rice red jujube pulp and the like.

If you don't have time to cook in the kitchen, you can also choose some commercially available walnut milk products with guaranteed quality. However, pay attention to the choice of low sugar content. Because walnuts are good for health, too much sugar is not good for health. Take a look at how many milliliters of a can of walnut drink, how much sugar is contained in 100 ml, and multiply the two to calculate how much sugar is contained in a can. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the daily intake of added sugar is preferably controlled within 25 grams.



Finally, one important fact cannot be forgotten: nutrients that are good for brain health are not just found in walnuts.

Studies have shown that green leafy vegetables rich in antioxidants, anthocyanin-rich fruits, and deep-sea fish and seaweeds rich in DHA are also a category of foods that help prevent brain aging.