Do you recall what you ate for breakfast today or dinner last night? According to new research, you may have a better chance of remembering if you include walnuts. Recent findings published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease report walnut consumption in a Mediterranean diet is associated with better memory scores and cognitive function.
The results suggest that antioxidants present in walnuts and other Mediterranean dietary patterns may help counteract age-related cognitive decline and reduce the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.[ Also Read: Can Walnuts Reduce the Risk for Breast Cancer? ]
This cross-sectional study evaluated whether antioxidant-rich foods from the Mediterranean diet were associated with better cognitive performance in a subsample (447) of elderly participants (aged 55-80 years) from the landmark Spanish PREDIMED study – a dietary intervention trial in asymptomatic individuals with high cardiovascular risk.
The researchers evaluated the intake of various foods and performed neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive function in relation to diet, and analyzed the urinary excretion of polyphenols as a biomarker of daily intake of antioxidants.[ Also Read: Walnuts Boost Brain Power in Students: Study ]
The study reported regular consumption of walnuts, but not of other nuts, was associated with better working memory. The investigators believe that the high polyphenol (antioxidant) content found in walnuts may be one of the key elements in helping to preserve cognition and fight age-related cognitive decline.
Coffee, virgin olive oil and wine were also associated with better cognitive scores. California Walnut Commission released this information today, Feb. 29.