Wal­nuts may pro­vide healthy age­ing ben­e­fits

Pakistan Observer - - KARACHI CITY -

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.

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