Walnuts are great as a snack, in salads, breads and as part of the occasional baked good. Many a child is delighted noting that once you crack the tough shell, the nuts inside look like brains. Turns out that description may be more apt than you think, but not in a creepy way, in a healthy one. Just a handful of walnuts per day can help protect your brain according to a new study. What’s more, it can boost your brainpower helping with concentration, recall and the processing of information. Researchers from m the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles conducted this cross-sectional study. They used thousands of participant’s in the U.S. ages 20 and older. The more walnuts the person ate the better they performed on a cognitive assessment. This was true regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, according to Dr. Lenore Arab who led the study. This research dovetails perfectly into a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that walnuts are incredibly healthy for the brain. The amount consumed was also impressive. Only about a small handful a day made a huge difference, about one ounce.
Arab said, “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.” The California Walnut Commission funded the study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. Walnuts are loaded with beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 found that one ounce of nut consumption per day meant the difference between seniors living into their 80’s or their 90’s. Another study from that same year found that adding nuts to the diet helped more people lose weight.