It’s not nuts

A team of researchers from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, Australia, believes eating nuts has a positive effect on cognitive performance.

Researchers monitored nut intake and diet quality of the 1,814 participants aged 60+.

The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) test was used to evaluate the cognitive function of each participant. This included immediate and delayed recall, verbal fluency and processing speed and attention.

The results of the study showed a consistent difference in cognitive performance between older adults who were in the no-nuts group and those in the moderate nut intake group. The lowest cognitive performance was found in older adults who did not consume any nuts and the highest scores were found in those who consumed 15g/d and 30g/d. It was noted that increasing consumption to over 30g/d did not lead to higher cognitive performance compared to the moderate intake group.

Lead investigator Dr Sze-Yen Tan said: “Eating a handful of nuts each day is a simple dietary strategy that improves cognitive performance in older adults, among many other already well-established health benefits.”

The study was funded by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.

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