Walnuts may provide healthy ageing benefits
Anew study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming 1-2 servings of walnuts per week (1/ 4 cup per serving) was associated with reduced risk of developing impairments in physical function, which helps enable older people to main-tain independence throughout the ageing process.
This paper emphasised that overall diet quality, rather than individual foods, may have a greater impact on reducing risk of physical function impairments. Specifically, diet quality traits most associated with reduced rates of incident physical impairment were higher intake of fruits and vegeta-bles; lower intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, Trans fat, and sodium; and moderate alcohol intake. Among food components, the strongest relations were found for increased intakes of oranges, orange juice, apples, pears, romaine or leaf lettuce, and walnuts.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Francine Grodstein, ScD, professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School said, “There’s a lot of research that looks at specific health conditions in ageing, such as diabetes and heart disease, but less attention to research on qual-ity of life and ability to maintain independence with ageing. The simple message from this study is that eating an overall healthy diet, including certain foods, such as walnuts and other whole foods, may help people with the ability to do key everyday tasks as they age, like carrying groceries or dressing themselves.”
Dr Grodstein further added, “These results add to the large body of evidence that outline many bene-fits of a healthy diet for women. Additional research is needed to better understand how diet and lifestyle choices can help maintain our health and well-being as we age”.
Nutritionist and health consultant Naini Setalvad said, “There are numerous possible active properties in walnuts that may be contributing factors in pro-viding health benefits. Walnuts are unique among nuts in that they are primarily composed of polyunsaturated fat (13 grams per ounce), which includes alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.”
Adding, “They are the only nut to contain a signifi-cant amount of ALA with 2.5 grams per one ounce serving. Nearly two decades of research, at renowned universities worldwide have shown the effect of walnuts in such areas as heart health, dia-betes, cancer, cognition, fertility, metabolic syn-drome and weight management.”
The researchers looked at data from 54,762 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, which tracked women for over 30 years.