How Many Walnuts Should You Eat Every Day for “Brain Boosting”? Doctors Remind: Let’s Consult the “Chinese Pharmacopoeia”

There’s a type of food that was once held in high esteem, believed to possess the miraculous ability to “boost the brain.” This food is none other than the walnut. However, we need to clarify that walnuts are not the so-called “brain-boosting elixir.”

This seemingly ordinary nut has its own unique characteristics, and its medicinal value and nutritional composition are worth exploring.

This article will gradually unravel the impact of walnuts on the brain and reveal their true mysteries.

The Mystery of Walnuts:

Firstly, let’s delve into the legends surrounding walnuts.

Many believe that walnuts aid in “brain-boosting,” but it’s crucial to note that the “Chinese Pharmacopoeia” does not document the brain-boosting efficacy of walnuts.

This concept may have originated from ancient “analogy thinking,” as the shape of walnut kernels resembles the human brain, leading people to associate them.

However, science requires us to delve deeper into understanding the true effects of walnuts.

Walnut kernels are classified in traditional Chinese medicine as yang-tonifying herbs, believed to have functions like tonifying the kidneys, warming the lungs, and moistening the intestines. However, these functions are not directly related to brain enhancement.

This implies that the medicinal value of walnuts lies in other aspects rather than directly influencing brain function.

Nutritional Characteristics of Walnuts:

To better understand the impact of walnuts, let’s take a closer look at their nutritional components.

Walnuts contain about 14.9% protein and over 60% fat, with the majority being unsaturated fatty acids. These components are crucial for overall health.

  • Protein: Walnuts provide plant-based protein, essential for maintaining bodily functions. Proteins are fundamental building blocks for brain and body tissues.
  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA): Walnuts are rich in ALA, a precursor to DHA (an Omega-3 fatty acid). DHA is vital for brain development and health, suggesting that walnuts may have a positive impact on brain health.
  • Zinc: Walnuts are also rich in zinc, a trace element crucial for brain development and cell metabolism. Zinc plays a significant role in neurotransmitter synthesis and signal transmission.
  • Vitamins B and E: Walnuts are rich in vitamins B and E, contributing to the health and protection of brain cells. Vitamin B is crucial for energy metabolism and normal nervous system functioning, while vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, helping protect the brain from oxidative damage.

The Importance of Moderation:

Despite walnuts having numerous health benefits, it’s essential not to overlook their high calorie content.

According to the Chinese Dietary Guidelines, it is recommended that adults consume 50-70 grams of nuts per week, equivalent to around 10 grams per day, approximately equal to 23 walnuts with shells.

Overconsumption may lead to excess energy intake, which is not conducive to maintaining overall health.


In conclusion, walnuts do possess some beneficial nutritional characteristics for brain health, but they are not the magical “brain-boosting elixir” as claimed.

Balanced nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are equally crucial.

As a wise person once said: “Health is the first wealth of life.”

In the pursuit of brain health, let’s remember this principle—enjoy the deliciousness of walnuts, maintain a balanced diet, and adopt a positive lifestyle to ensure the health and vitality of both the brain and body.

While walnuts may not be a “brain-boosting elixir,” they can certainly be part of our healthy living, contributing to a healthier and wiser future.

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