Many people struggle with memory problems – brain fog and overall cognitive function are concerns for anyone with a chronic health condition, or anyone just over the age of thirty.
But the key to improved brain function may be as simple as making a handful of nuts a part of your daily diet.
A recent study from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA revealed that eating just a handful of nuts – approximately 13 grams – improved the performance of study participants between the ages of 20 and 90 on a series of tests designed to measure cognitive function.
Study participants who consumed a small amount of walnuts every day eventually were proven to outperform participants who did not in every test area.
The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, is one of the first studies to measure the benefits of eating walnuts in humans, said the study leader.
Dr. Lenore Arab said in a recent press release:
“It isn’t every day that research results in such simple advice – eating a handful of walnuts daily as a snack, or as part of a meal, can help improve your cognitive health.”
Walnuts have a long history of being considered for their medicinal benefits – they contain plenty of antioxidants, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. But the key to their memory-boosting abilities lie in their rich alpha-linolenic acid content.
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ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid which is commonly found in plants. It has proven benefits for your heart and brain function, but isn’t found in significant quantities in many nuts.
That’s why walnuts are so special – they contain more ALA than most other types of nuts. Which means that those at risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia may benefit hugely from consuming just a handful of walnuts every day. According to the research, walnuts can slow brain decline and even help slow the ageing process.
“It is exciting to see the strength of the evidence from this analysis across the US population supporting the previous results of animal studies that have shown the neuroprotective benefit from eating walnuts,” said Dr. Arab in a recent interview with CBS News, adding that the amount of walnuts needed per day for a therapeutic dose is “realistic – less than a handful per day”.