Did you lose your house keys again this morning? Or keep forgetting where you parked your car? It could simply be your brain’s not getting the right type of nutrition.
A recent article in The Huffington Post (Mediterranean Diet May Aid Memory) reported that a higher proportion of participants who followed the Mediterranean diet performed better in mental agility tests than their counterparts.
The scientists attribute this to the high quantity of brain friendly foods found in the Mediterranean diet, which typically includes lots of omega 3 fatty acids (in oily fish, pulses and walnuts) and a low proportion of red meat and dairy foods.
Strange but true: Did you know that years ago people believed that eating walnuts was good for the brain? This was because of the nut’s uncanny resemblance to it. Maybe there’s more to those old wives’ tales than previously thought.
Quick ways to add walnuts* to your diet .
Apart from being a great nutritious snack in their own right, walnuts are a great addition to bread, cakes and salads and they bring a soft, crunchy texture to blander foods like cooked cauliflower which can be made tastier by pouring bechamel sauce over it and topping with some chopped walnuts.
They’re a vital ingredient in Waldorf salad, a classic combination of walnuts, apple, lettuce and celery. And walnuts also complement soft goat’s cheese, avocado and green salads.
A good way of adding walnuts to your diet is by using walnut oil which is sweeter than olive oil. You can mix a little walnut oil with raspberry vinegar for a fresh summery vinaigrette-perfect over a grilled goat’s cheese, rocket and cherry tomato salad.
For a more rustic dish, try making your own home-made version using my own recipe of walnuts blended with olive oil.
Avocado salad with home-made walnut* dressing
Ingredients (for 1 person)
- 1 bowl of mixed green salad leaves according to preference. Eg mixture of cos lettuce,rocket, lamb’s lettuce
- 1/2 sliced avocado
- cherry tomatoes
- finely sliced carrot
- finely sliced red pepper
- green olives
(measurements are approximate-feel free to adjust according to your own taste buds)
- Handful of walnuts
- 3 tbsp mild olive oil
- 1 tbsp date or other fruit vinegar
- Prepare salad by washing and slicing the ingredients then place in salad bowl.
- Prepare dressing by grinding the walnuts into tiny pieces in a liquidiser with the olive oil.
- Add vinegar and mix well.
- Pour over salad and toss. Serve with crusty bread.
This vinaigrette is also great as a dipping for rustic breads.
I’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions if you do try my walnut oil recipe.
* Please note walnuts are not suitable for those who suffer from nut allergies.
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