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Walnuts can reduce cholesterol and aid healthy brain functioning.

In ancient Rome, walnuts were thought to cure headaches because of their resemblance to the brain. There’s no evidence for that, but walnuts are a good source of vitamins B6 and folate, and they’re rich in omega-3 oils, the same heart-healthy fats found in fish oil.

New studies show that adding about an ounce of walnuts to your diet each day can reduce your LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind) by as much as 10 percent. Maybe the Romans were on to something after all: Omega-3 oils are crucial for healthy brain functioning.

Fresh walnuts usually hit the market in early fall, but dried ones are available year-round. To restore their fresh flavor, soak them in milk.