According to recent research, walnuts are everything they’re cracked up to be… and more.

Initially nicknamed the “brain nut” for their unique shape, we now know their nutrient composition is quite brainy, as well. In fact, walnuts are the only tree nut that is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—an essential fat that’s important for brain health, blood sugar balance, a healthy heart and more.

A recent study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases found that enjoying just 4 walnuts a day significantly increased blood levels of the health-protective omega-3 essential fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in 10 adults.

In addition to walnuts being a great source of omega-3 fats, they also provide healthy monounsaturated fats and are rich in antioxidants including melatonin, ellagic acid, gamma-tocopherol, carotenoids, and polyphenolic compounds.