Eating just 13 grams of walnuts daily as a snack or as a part of a meal can sharpen your memory, besides keeping brain-related ailments like Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay, says a study.
In a first-ever large sample analysis of walnut intake and cognitive function, scientists found that eating just 13 grams walnuts a day improved memory performance on cognitive function tests, including those for memory, concentration and information processing speed.
The study enrolled participants who included adults aged 20-59 as well as 60 and over under the supervision of Lenore Arab, a doctor from David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, and co-researcher Alfonso Ang, also a doctor.
The researchers found that participants with higher walnut consumption performed significantly better on a series of six cognitive tests. and their cognitive function was consistently greater in adult participants who consumed walnuts, regardless of age.
“The analysis supports previous results of animal studies that have shown the neuroprotective benefit from eating walnuts and it is a realistic amount – 13 grams,” Arab said.
Walnuts have numerous possible active ingredients that may be contributing factors in protecting cognitive functions, including its high antioxidant content, besides the combination of numerous vitamins and minerals.
Walnuts are also a significant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid with heart and brain-health benefits. Earlier studies have highlighted the possible beneficial effects of slowing or preventing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
In a 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, dementia affects 7.7 million people every year and currently there are 35.6 million people around the world suffering from dementia. The number is estimated to be double by 2030 and triple by 2050, if no corrective intervention is taken up.