Eating walnuts may improve performance on cognitive function tests, including those for memory, concentration and information processing speed, according to a new research at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study findings suggest that cognitive function was consistently greater in adult participants who consumed walnuts, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.
The study led by Dr. Lenore Arab analyzed the effects of walnut intake on cognitive function. The study included all available cognitive data across multiple National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) surveys. Study participants included adults aged 20-59 years as well as 60 years and over. Researchers found that study participants with higher walnut consumption performed significantly better on a series of six cognitive tests.
There are numerous possible active ingredients in walnuts that may be contributing factors in boosting cognitive functions. Walnuts have high antioxidant content (3.7 mmol/ounce), which possibly affects the cognitive function. It also has a combination of numerous vitamins and minerals and it is the only nut that contains a significant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (2.5 grams per ounce), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid with heart and brain-health benefits.
The study supports the growing body of research surrounding walnuts' positive effect on reducing cognitive impairment and overall brain health.