Consuming nuts can improve memory and blood flow to the brain

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Nuts may be helpful to add to the diet of those looking to improve their memory. Image credit: Gualtiero Boffi/EyeEm/Getty Images.
  • Researchers investigated the effects of nut consumption on memory and brain health.
  • They found that consuming 60 grams of mixed nuts per day increased verbal memory and cerebral blood flow.
  • Further studies are needed to confirm the results.

around it 19% of adults over the age of 50 have cognitive impairment ranging from mild impairment to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

the study show It is believed that lifestyle factors such as diet may protect brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Diets such as the Mediterranean diet and the Diet to Halt Hypertension (DASH) diet are associated with slowing the rate of cognitive decline and reducing dementia risk.

Nuts are common to both meals. Nuts contain nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids, proteins and polyphenols, all of which may be beneficial for cognitive function.

Further research into how nuts affect cognition and brain health could lead to dietary and public health recommendations.

Recently, researchers investigated the effects of daily nut consumption on cognition and brain health. They found that daily consumption of nuts had a positive effect on cerebral blood flow and verbal memory in older adults.

This research clinical nutrition Funded by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC).

The researchers recruited 28 healthy people with an average age of 65 years and an average body mass index (BMI) of 27.9 for the study. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.

Participants were randomly divided into two groups and assigned to one of two 16-week dietary plans. One group consumed 60 grams of walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and hazelnuts per day, and the other group ate no nuts at all. The groups switched their nut intake protocol after an 8-week washout period.

At the end of each period, researchers collected the following metrics for participants:

  • cerebrovascular function
  • Endothelial function — key to blood clotting and passage of fluids and electrolytes from blood into tissues
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • retinal microvasculature
  • cognitive performance.

Ultimately, we found that daily nut consumption increased blood flow in various brain regions, including the left frontal lobe, bilateral prefrontal cortex, and frontal lobe.

They also found that nut consumption improved peripheral endothelial function, reduced arteriosclerosis, and improved retinal microvasculature.

Additionally, after consuming nuts, participants were able to recall 16% more words on a verbal memory task. However, nut consumption did not change other domains such as executive function, stress, and quality of life.

medical news today Dana Hannes, Ph.D., senior clinical dietician at UCLA Medical Center and assistant professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study, on how nut consumption improves memory and brain health. I spoke to

She said the exact mechanism is unknown. However, researchers suggest that nut consumption keeps blood vessels in the brain healthy, possibly by reducing inflammation associated with cognitive decline and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, she added.

Dani Felber, Integrative Brain Health Dietitian and owner of Focused Nutrition and Wellness, who was not involved in the study, also said: MNT:

“Our brains are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress, which over time damages brain cells, leading to memory and cognitive decline. Cognitive decline is a normal part of the aging process.” However, slower rates of cognitive decline are associated with increased intake of antioxidants, which are essential for reducing oxidative stress. It contains even higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries, which are famous for their high levels of

Dr. Hunnes said the short duration of the study means that the long-term effects of nut consumption on memory and cognitive health are still unknown.

“Memory and cognitive function are long-term, long-developing problems. [meaning] 16+ weeks [to reach conclusions]’ she pointed out.

“As usual in the field of nutrition, this study adds to the literature and continues to show the positive effects of eating healthy foods like nuts, but as usual, long-term studies are not enough. I need it,” she added.

MNT We also spoke to Dr. Debbie Fetter, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study, about its limitations.

she said: “Inclusion criteria for the study had a specific range of her BMI, and individuals falling within the overweight to obese range were enrolled. However, BMI captures only height-to-weight ratios, so the A lot of information is omitted when assessing body composition.”

When asked which nuts are most beneficial for brain health, Felber replied:

“Walnuts are much like a small brain and are considered one of the best nuts for brain health for many reasons. It has the highest antioxidant content and the highest antioxidant potency or quality when compared to common nuts.”

Other nuts that are beneficial for brain health include:

MNT We also asked Dr. Hunnes what alternative foods might have a similar effect for people with nut allergies.

“Olives, soybeans, and seeds (sunflower, chia, flax, etc.) contain healthy levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated omega-3 oils and therefore have similar positive health benefits. There could be,” she said.

Dr. Fetter agreed, stating:[s]Eid has a similar nutrient profile, making it an excellent choice. ”

“But sesame is also a major allergen, and almost half of people with food allergies are allergic to multiple foods,” she warned.

“Beans and legumes [also] An excellent source of plant protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and polyphenols. Add a drizzle of olive oil to add healthy fats,” adds Dr. Vetter.

Like Dr. Hunnes, Dr. Fetter emphasized the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for brain health. “Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are great sources of omega-3s, which are essential fats,” she said.[o]Mega-3 fatty acids play important roles in the brain, heart, immune system, and metabolism. ”

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