Nuts on Top



          So you’re not going nuts over peanuts? See what you’ve been missing!

Some may like nuts but many people which may include you refuse to eat them. They say they don’t like the taste and even the aroma. You say that these causes you pimples. Now nuts are very eager to let you get a handful! Research shows that nuts and seeds just might boost your brainpower and balance your moods. These can help you think clearer and be happier than you ever imagined.

Scientifically known as Arachis hypogea, peanuts go by a variety of names, such as groundnuts, earth nuts, and goobers. They actually belong to the legume family and are therefore related to beans, lentils, and soy. Not only do peanuts taste good, they are also rich in protein, fat, and various healthy nutrients.

Nuts are called “brain food” as Rebecca Wood points out in her “New Foods Encyclopedia,” the walnut looks remarkably like the human brain. “The thin, outer green husk, which is removed before the walnuts are marketed, is likened to the scalp. The walnut’s hard shell is like a skull. The thin envelope inside, with its paper-like partitions between the two halves of the nut, is like the membrane. The convoluted nut itself represents the human brain’s two hemispheres.”

Furthermore, nuts contain the following: Niacin helps convert food to energy. The digestive system, skin, and nerves also use niacin to function. Research shows that dietary niacin may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline (Morris, 2004). An ounce of peanuts is an excellent source of niacin providing a quarter of our daily needs, Choline is critical for normal membrane structure and function. It is also important to lung function and memory development in infants, Potassium is critical to maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is important to brain and nerve function and is necessary for normal growth and muscle development. Just one serving provides almost 5% of our daily needs, Iron is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health. It is involved in oxygen transport and helps regulate cell growth and differentiation, Copper plays a role in the production of key proteins in our body such as collagen and hemoglobin, which transports oxygen, Selenium is an antioxidant helping to prevent cellular damage from free radicals. It regulates thyroid function and plays a role in the immune system. And also, nuts give some of folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin known as “nerve vitamin,” concentrated in nuts, riboflavin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E which play a crucial role in liver function and its attendant emotions of anger, depression, and impatience, and nuts are also rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, zinc and manganese. In addition to nuts’ star power, it also contains omega-3 fatty acids that play a key role in optimal mental activity.

Of course you do not want to think of that representation of a nut to a brain while you are eating but you will want to remember that walnuts are made up of 15 to 20 percent protein and contain linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids) and alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin E and vitamin B6, making them an excellent source of nourishment for your nervous system. A healthy nervous system means both clearer and happier thinking, according to research. According to Readers’ Digest’s “Fight Back with Food,” under-consumption of omega-3-rich foods may actually lead to depression. The nuts that you can find in any grocery store, may be able to boost your mood in a way similar to the famous antidepressant drug Prozac. Back in November 2004, NaturalNews covered the amazing antidepressant effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

As is the case with Prozac, walnuts’ potential antidepressant effect pertains to serotonin, the important brain chemical that controls both your moods and your appetite. Like Prozac and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs), walnuts may influence the human brain’s serotonin levels, according to Professor James Duke’s book “Anti-Aging Prescriptions.” That means that you may be able to relieve the disorders commonly treated with antidepressant drugs — insomnia, depression, overeating and other compulsive behavior — without the dangerous side effects. Walnuts aren’t the only nut with mood-boosting omega-3s, either. Flax seeds are also an excellent source for omega-3s, making them a viable source for those who don’t like to eat fish, the most common source of omega-3s.

peanuts2But then, whatever kind of nut you want to take, may it be walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, pecans and peanuts, each can improve your mental health in its own way. Cashews are high in magnesium, which can “open up” the blood vessels in your body, including those in your brain. When more oxygen-rich blood nourishes your brain, like any organ, it operates better. By providing your body with phenylalanine, adding almonds to your diet can do wonders for your mental and neurological health. According to “Off the Shelf Natural Health: How to Use Herbs and Nutrients to Stay Well” author Mark Mayell, phenylalanine has the rare ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, where it then stimulates your brain to produce “the natural pain-killing and mood-boosting neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline.” Accordingly, phenylalanine-rich almonds can drastically reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, a neurological disorder that is always debilitating and often eventually deadly. Additionally, almonds are high in riboflavin, which may boost your memory. Peanuts and pecans provide another important nutrient for optimal brain function, choline. According to “Permanent Remissions” by Robert Haas, choline aids in both memory and brain development.

When you look at our history as a species, the knowledge that some seeds and nuts may enhance brainpower and moods makes perfect sense. As “Origin Diet” author Elizabeth Somer writes, seeds and nuts were an essential part of our ancestors’ diets: “Up to 65 percent of our original diets were fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other plants. Our ancient ancestors ate pounds of produce every day. The other 35 percent came from wild game, low in saturated fats and rich in polyunsaturated fats called the omega-3 fatty acids.

Hundreds of studies spanning decades of research show that diets based on these foods are also the ones that lower disease risk, prevent obesity, boost energy and mood, improve mental function, and slow aging.” Seeds and nuts are essential to a healthy, well-functioning brain and, if they’re high in omega-3, essential to the brain development of an unborn fetus and growing child. It is worth your efforts to make them part of your diet, and that of your family.

In this world of science, we are bombarded of many different kinds of medicines from intakes of processed supplements to complex ways of aiding diseases, we need more of natural, alternative ways to provide our daily needs. And this is a breakthrough of science, though very simple yet we naively recognize that what we need is already given to us.



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