Dry fruits are an excellent source of nutrients and bolster immunity. They are considered to powerhouse of nutrients and can help maintain your bones strong if eaten regularly. One such dry fruit is walnut. Apart from several health benefits, walnuts are good for improving cognitive abilities, including attention. According to a study led by Spanish researchers, boys and girls who eat walnuts often can have better attention.
The study has been published in the journal eClinicalMedicine. It showed that regular consumption of walnuts could benefit the cognitive development of adolescents and contribute to their psychological maturation.
Nuts are known to have positive impact on our brain health
It is a proven fact that nuts affect our brain health. However, the study shows news results regarding the impact of their consumption at such a critical stage for cognitive development as adolescence. Among the researchers are those from the Institut d’Investigacio Sanitaria Pere Virgili (IISPV).
Walnuts are rich in a type of omega-3 i.e. alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA). The nut plays a fundamental role in brain development, especially during adolescence.
“Adolescence is a time when our body undergoes some of the major biological changes. This is the time when hormonal transformation occurs and it in turn is responsible for stimulating the synaptic growth of the frontal lobe. This part of our brain is what enables neuropsychological maturation, i.e., more complex emotional and cognitive functions. Neurons that are well nourished with this type of fatty acids will be able to grow and form new, stronger synapses,” said Jordi Julvez, principal investigator from the IISPV.
Increased attention functions among adolescents who ate walnuts
As part of the research, the scientists included 700 secondary school students. These students were in the age group of 11 and 16 years and from 12 different high schools in Barcelona. While the control group received no intervention of any kind, the experimental group was provided 30 grams of walnut kernels. The group consumed it daily for six months.
The team found increased attention functions among adolescents who ate walnuts for at least 100 days. However, they didn’t necessarily eat walnuts every day. Also, the students who had some symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improved their behaviour significantly. Those students started paying more attention to the teacher and were less hyperactive.
This clearly demonstrates the importance of a healthy diet to develop a good cognitive and psychological level.