Walnuts improve inferential reasoning skills among students

Recently published research in the September issue of British Journal of Nutrition suggests students may want to grab a handful of walnuts before taking that next exam.  According to the study, students consuming walnuts improved their inferential reasoning skills - the ability to discover true from false.  

The study included two test groups of Andrews University students who ate two slices of banana bread daily for eight weeks: one group ate banana bread that included 1/2 cup (2 oz) of walnuts daily and the other group ate banana bread without walnuts. "Walnuts are a nutrient dense food that contain numerous potentially neuroprotective compounds including antioxidants, polyphenols and the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. These components may all work together to promote brain health," says lead researcher Dr. Peter Pribis.  Based on his findings, he believes that "students and young professionals in fields that involve a great deal of critical thinking or decision-making could benefit from regularly eating walnuts."

More and more research is finding that consuming specific foods, being physically active and engaging in social activities may help maintain and improve cognitive health. This study adds to the evidence that supports the potential cognitive benefits of walnuts.  Previous animal research published in the British Journal of Nutrition found a diet containing as much as six percent walnuts (equivalent to one ounce or 1/4 cup in humans) was able to reverse age-related motor and cognitive deficits in aged rats, and a study in Neurochemical Research suggests walnuts may protect brain cells from oxidative damage.  


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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