In a new study coming from the University of South Australia, researchers found that higher nut consumption could lead to better cognitive function in older adults.
Scientists studied 4,822 Chinese adults over the age of 55. They found that eating more than 10 grams of nuts per day was positively associated with better memory, mental functioning, and general reasoning.
With dementia and Alzheimer's disease being two of the scariest elements of aging, and the least understood from a prevention and treatment perspective, these data are good news.
"By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent- compared to those not eating nuts." -Dr Ming Li, lead researcher.
The World Health Organization estimates about 47 million people are living with dementia today. This number is expected to rise to 75 million by 2030. As a country, China has the largest population of people with dementia.
Nuts in general are high in healthy fats and fiber, and have moderate to high protein content as well. Additionally, a variety of nuts contain important micro-nutrients to various degrees (for instance, Brazil nuts are high in selenium).
This is a prescription for prevention with very little downside. Nuts are a healthy addition to any balanced nutritional plan, are easy to pack and take with you, and provide energy and satiety in a way that belies their small size.
We recommend ensuring a proper variety of nuts and seeds in your diet: don't just pick your favorite. But do your brain a favor and start eating nuts right away and do so daily.