Nuts and Brain FunctionPecan Nutrition
A well-balanced diet of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates contributes to healthy living. Failure to meet the body’s nourishment needs could lead to a lackadaisical mindset. After all, when you deprive your body of energy, it will begin to slow down. Weaker muscles and feeling more tired are common indicators of nutritional deficiencies.
Nuts Best for Brain Function
The brain is a vital muscle and requires constant energy to function. It can be tough to figure out what you need to eat to maintain healthy muscle tissue and brain function. When your doctor or nutritionist suggest you eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and legumes, heed that advice. What all these suggestions have in common is they are all plant-based food options and your body will thank you for them.
Have you ever gotten into that afternoon rut, the kind that makes you feel like you need a nap? That’s your brain saying “sleep or energize me.” Nuts are nutrient-rich energy packing morsels. Just a handful of pecan nuts can give you a much desired afternoon pick-me-up. Consuming the right amounts of certain nutrients can have remarkable effects on your attention span, memory, mood, and learning capacity. For a better idea of how this works, let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of the pecan nut.
Complex B-vitamins and Antioxidants
Healthy cognitive function means insulating our brain cells from free radicals. Failing to do so can lead to the proliferation of harmful bacteria or viruses. Incorporating more natural antioxidants will help combat the spread of unwanted free radicals. Antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E are both present in pecans. Antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Vitamin E safeguards the fatty acids our cells need to function while Vitamin A contributes to neural cell mobility.
Pecans are a great source of complex B-vitamins including vitamin B6, folic acid(B9), niacin(B3), pantothenic acid(B5), riboflavin(B2), and thiamin(B1). This group of vitamins is an integral part of brain cell production because it helps carry chemical signals (neurotransmitters) between neurons and nerve cells throughout the body. Folic acid, for example, supports the maintenance of cells and DNA. Improved neural fluidity and cell reproduction are huge factors in long-term cognitive health.
The brain is a muscle and the cells that make up the brain are mainly comprised of fats. There are three fatty acids that our nerve cells and brain cells benefit from: saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. These three are recognized as healthy fats by the nutritional community. Pecans are a rich source of monounsaturated fats which helps reduce bad cholesterol. Lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol decreases the chances of clogs or blocks in our arterial walls. This helps prevent strokes and cardiovascular disease.
A healthy synaptic function involves neurons firing without many inhibiting factors. These inhibiting factors include increased vulnerability to free radicals, a build-up in the arterial walls, and a lack of essential fatty acids in our system. Pecans and other nuts provide a natural source of nutrients that aid in neurotransmitter function and cell insulation. This helps improve overall cognitive performance.
Balanced Glucose Levels
When your body experiences glucose levels that are too high or too low, it could result in raised anxiety. This is a common factor for people suffering from diabetes. This imbalance of blood-sugar levels could cause unexplainable worry, cold sweats, and mood swings. Dangerously high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) glucose levels have adverse effects on brain function and could be fatal.
Eating foods that lack enough carbs, proteins, and fats could result in an unexpected energy-crash. This leaves you feeling sluggish, irritable, and still hungry. Pecans offer a natural way to balance your glucose levels while keeping the stores of energy up in your body and brain.
Improve Your State of Mind: Eat More Nuts
If you notice yourself feeling tired, weak, forgetful, or just plain moody, it could be time for a handful of pecans. For healthy cognitive function, it’s recommended you consume enough natural proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that are rich in micronutrients. Pecans offer a satisfying crunch with every bite, delivering upwards of nineteen vitamins and minerals.
One of the easiest ways to improve your mood, memory, and learning capacity is by regularly enjoying a serving or two of pecans or other nuts. Just toss a few over your favorite salad, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese for an exciting twist on a traditional meal.