Walnuts: Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that releases the sleep hormones serotonin and melatonin, that help regulate the body clock and would set a sleep pattern for your baby. Grind 2-3 walnuts and add the powder to your baby’s oats, cereals and porridge.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, walnuts (Juglans regia) contain a number of potentially neuroprotective compounds such as vitamin E, folate, melatonin, and several antioxidative polyphenols. They are the only nuts that are packed with high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that help reduce inflammation and decrease the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood.[1,2]

Walnuts are exceptionally rich in antioxidants such as ellagic acid, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and help suppress cancer cell formation.[3,4,5] The antioxidant catechin in them decreases the risk of heart disease.[6,7,8] Melatonin, a neurohormone and another powerful antioxidant present in them, regulates the body clock and also reduces the risk of heart disease.[9,10,11]

Walnuts keep the blood vessels healthy by decreasing plaque buildup in the arteries.[12,13,14] Animal studies show that eating walnuts could suppress cancer growth in the breasts, prostate, kidneys and colon.[15,16,17,18]

Walnuts For Better Memory
The memory-enhancing properties of walnuts can be attributed to the high antioxidant content and omega-3 fatty acids.[19,20]

In a clinical study of elderly people, regular consumption of walnuts resulted in a significant improvement in memory.[21] In another study done on 64 young, healthy adults walnuts was found to improve reasoning skills.[22]

Animal studies show that when mice with Alzheimer’s were fed walnuts every day for 10 months, a significant improvement in learning and memory skills was observed.[23] Another animal study done on elderly rats found that eating walnuts for eight weeks reversed the age-related impairments in brain function.[24,25] Clinical studies also show that walnuts can help reduce depression and age-related decline in brain function.[26,27]

How To Take It

  • Eat four walnuts every day to notice an improvement in your ability to recall and enhance your memory.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

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1. Feldman EB. The scientific evidence for a beneficial health relationship between walnuts and coronary heart disease. J Nutr. 2002 May;132(5):1062S-1101S. Review. PubMed PMID: 11983840.

2. Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, West SG, Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factorsin hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):2991-7. PubMed PMID: 15514264.

3. Colaric M, Veberic R, Solar A, Hudina M, Stampar F. Phenolic acids, syringaldehyde, and juglone in fruits of different cultivars of Juglans regia L. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Aug 10;53(16):6390-6. PubMed PMID: 16076123.

4. Papoutsi Z, Kassi E, Chinou I, Halabalaki M, Skaltsounis LA, Moutsatsou P. Walnut extract (Juglans regia L.) and its component ellagic acid exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in human aorta endothelial cells and osteoblastic activity in the cell line KS483. Br J Nutr. 2008 Apr;99(4):715-22. Epub 2007 Oct 5. PubMed PMID: 17916277.

5. Larrosa M, Tomás-Barberán FA, Espín JC. The dietary hydrolysable tannin punicalagin releases ellagic acid that induces apoptosis in human colon adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cells by using the mitochondrial pathway. J Nutr Biochem. 2006 Sep;17(9):611-25. Epub 2005 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 16426830.

6. Regueiro J, Sánchez-González C, Vallverdú-Queralt A, Simal-Gándara J, Lamuela-Raventós R, Izquierdo-Pulido M. Comprehensive identification of walnut polyphenols by liquid chromatography coupled to linear ion trap-Orbitrap mass
spectrometry. Food Chem. 2014;152:340-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.11.158. Epub 2013 Dec 3. PubMed PMID: 24444946.

7. Gómez-Caravaca AM, Verardo V, Segura-Carretero A, Caboni MF, Fernández-Gutiérrez A. Development of a rapid method to determine phenolic and other polar compounds in walnut by capillary electrophoresis-electrospray
ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 2008 Oct 31;1209(1-2):238-45. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2008.08.117. Epub 2008 Sep 7. PubMed PMID: 18823899.

8. Wang X, Ouyang YY, Liu J, Zhao G. Flavonoid intake and risk of CVD: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Br J Nutr. 2014 Jan 14;111(1):1-11. doi: 10.1017/S000711451300278X. Epub 2013 Aug 16.
Review. PubMed PMID: 23953879.

9. Reiter RJ, Manchester LC, Tan DX. Melatonin in walnuts: influence on levels of melatonin and total antioxidant capacity of blood. Nutrition. 2005 Sep;21(9):920-4. PubMed PMID: 15979282.

10. M. Carmen Garcia-Parrilla, Emma Cantos, Ana M. Troncoso. Analysis of melatonin in foods. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Volume 22, Issue 3, May 2009, Pages 177-183

11. Reiter RJ, Tan DX. Melatonin: a novel protective agent against oxidative injury of the ischemic/reperfused heart. Cardiovasc Res. 2003 Apr 1;58(1):10-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 12667942.

12. Ros E, Núñez I, Pérez-Heras A, Serra M, Gilabert R, Casals E, Deulofeu R. A walnut diet improves endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic subjects: a randomized crossover trial. Circulation. 2004 Apr 6;109(13):1609-14. Epub 2004
Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 15037535.

13. Ma Y, Njike VY, Millet J, Dutta S, Doughty K, Treu JA, Katz DL. Effects of walnut consumption on endothelial function in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized controlled crossover trial. Diabetes Care. 2010 Feb;33(2):227-32. doi:
10.2337/dc09-1156. Epub 2009 Oct 30. PubMed PMID: 19880586; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2809254.

14. Katz DL, Davidhi A, Ma Y, Kavak Y, Bifulco L, Njike VY. Effects of walnuts on endothelial function in overweight adults with visceral obesity: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Dec;31(6):415-23. PubMed PMID:
23756586; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3756625.

15. Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Manchester LC, Korkmaz A, Fuentes-Broto L, Hardman WE, Rosales-Corral SA, Qi W. A walnut-enriched diet reduces the growth of LNCaP human prostate cancer xenografts in nude mice. Cancer Invest. 2013 Jul;31(6):365-73. doi: 10.3109/07357907.2013.800095. Epub 2013 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 23758186; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3709881.

16. Hardman WE. Walnuts have potential for cancer prevention and treatment in mice. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):555S-560S. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.188466. Epub 2014 Feb 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 24500939; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3952627.

17. Davis PA, Vasu VT, Gohil K, Kim H, Khan IH, Cross CE, Yokoyama W. A high-fat diet containing whole walnuts (Juglans regia) reduces tumour size and growth along with plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 in the transgenic adenocarcinoma
of the mouse prostate model. Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 28;108(10):1764-72. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511007288. Epub 2012 Jan 16. PubMed PMID: 22244053; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3513713.

18. Nagel JM, Brinkoetter M, Magkos F, Liu X, Chamberland JP, Shah S, Zhou J, Blackburn G, Mantzoros CS. Dietary walnuts inhibit colorectal cancer growth in mice by suppressing angiogenesis. Nutrition. 2012 Jan;28(1):67-75. doi:
10.1016/j.nut.2011.03.004. Epub 2011 Jul 27. PubMed PMID: 21795022; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3237820.

19. Willis LM, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. Modulation of cognition and behavior in aged animals: role for antioxidant- and essential fatty acid-rich plant foods. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1602S-1606S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736J. Epub 2009 Apr 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 19339395.

20. Tuzcu M, Baydas G. Effect of melatonin and vitamin E on diabetes-induced learning and memory impairment in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 May 10;537(1-3):106-10. Epub 2006 Mar 20. PubMed PMID: 16626697.

21. Valls-Pedret C, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Medina-Remón A, Quintana M, Corella D, Pintó X, Martínez-González MÁ, Estruch R, Ros E. Polyphenol-rich foods in the Mediterranean diet are associated with better cognitive function in elderly
subjects at high cardiovascular risk. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(4):773-82. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-111799. PubMed PMID: 22349682.

22. Pribis P, Bailey RN, Russell AA, Kilsby MA, Hernandez M, Craig WJ, Grajales T, Shavlik DJ, Sabatè J. Effects of walnut consumption on cognitive performance in young adults. Br J Nutr. 2012 May;107(9):1393-401. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004302. Epub 2011 Sep 19. PubMed PMID: 21923981.

23. Muthaiyah B, Essa MM, Lee M, Chauhan V, Kaur K, Chauhan A. Dietary supplementation of walnuts improves memory deficits and learning skills in transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;42(4):1397-405. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140675. PubMed PMID: 25024344.

24. Willis LM, Shukitt-Hale B, Cheng V, Joseph JA. Dose-dependent effects of walnuts on motor and cognitive function in aged rats. Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr;101(8):1140-4. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508059369. PubMed PMID: 18778529.

25. Willis LM, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph JA. Modulation of cognition and behavior in aged animals: role for antioxidant- and essential fatty acid-rich plant foods. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1602S-1606S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736J. Epub 2009 Apr 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 19339395.

26. Nooyens AC, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, van Boxtel MP, van Gelder BM, Verhagen H, Verschuren WM. Fruit and vegetable intake and cognitive decline in middle-aged men and women: the Doetinchem Cohort Study. Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(5):752-61. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511001024. Epub 2011 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 21477405.

27. Sánchez-Villegas A, Galbete C, Martinez-González MA, Martinez JA, Razquin C, Salas-Salvadó J, Estruch R, Buil-Cosiales P, Martí A. The effect of the Mediterranean diet on plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomized trial. Nutr Neurosci. 2011 Sep;14(5):195-201. doi: 10.1179/1476830511Y.0000000011. PubMed PMID: 22005283.