Hazel­nut diet helps to ward off de­men­tia

TV Mary’s Latin of­fer to Wil­liam

Daily Express - - Richard & Judy - By Mark Waghorn

EAT­ING a hand­ful of hazel­nuts a day can help ward off Alzheimer’s dis­ease, new re­search has found.

Older peo­ple who added the nut to their diet for just a few months dra­mat­i­cally in­creased their lev­els of brain­boost­ing nu­tri­ents.

They in­clude mag­ne­sium and vi­ta­min E – both of which are be­lieved to help mit­i­gate age-re­lated mental de­cline.

The find­ings, pub­lished yesterday, are im­por­tant be­cause many peo­ple fail to con­sume enough of ei­ther nu­tri­ent – with the el­derly es­pe­cially at risk.

Lower con­cen­tra­tions are linked with in­creased risk of health problems later in life – such as de­men­tia.

Co-au­thor Dr Alex Michels, of Ore­gon State Univer­sity, said: “This is one of the first times a study of this type has fo­cused only on older adults. We wanted to fill in a piece of the puz­zle – can hazel­nuts im­prove the nu­tri­tional sta­tus of older adults specif­i­cally?”

Pre­vi­ous re­search has shown higher lev­els of vi­ta­min E con­sump­tion cor­re­lat­ing with slower cog­ni­tive de­cline as in­di­vid­u­als age. Both mag­ne­sium and vi­ta­min E have been used to pre­vent and treat de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases like Alzheimer’s and Parkin­son’s.

Around 850,000 peo­ple in the UK have de­men­tia, a fig­ure set to rise to 1 mil­lion by 2025 and two mil­lion by 2050. Cur­rently, there is no cure.

In the study, 32 peo­ple aged 55 and older ate two ounces – about two dozen – of hazel­nuts daily for 16 weeks.

Blood and urine sam­ples showed el­e­vated amounts of mag­ne­sium and vi­ta­min E, the re­searchers said.

Cor­re­spond­ing au­thor Pro­fes­sor Maret Traber said: “The find­ings demon­strate the power of just chang­ing one thing. Peo­ple don’t like tak­ing mul­ti­vi­ta­mins, but hazel­nuts rep­re­sent a mul­ti­vi­ta­min in a nat­u­ral form.”

Hazel­nuts also con­tain com­pounds that can bat­tle heart dis­ease and di­a­betes and even help you lose weight. They are par­tic­u­larly ver­sa­tile be­cause they can be en­joyed raw, roasted, in a paste or as an in­gre­di­ent in count­less healthy dishes. DAME Mary Beard met the Duke of Cam­bridge at her dame­hood in­vesti­ture yesterday and told him how she would do “any­thing” to teach his chil­dren Latin.

The clas­sics don and TV pre­sen­ter said Wil­liam agreed but she fears he may have just been po­lite at the cer­e­mony in Buck­ing­ham Palace.

Dame Mary, 63, joked: “Well, I hope he was lis­ten­ing...I didn’t quite say: ‘You get the lit­tle squirts to learn Latin...’ but I did say you get them to learn be­cause it is very im­por­tant.”

Pic­tures: STEVE PAR­SONS, YUI MOK / PA

Dame Mary at the cer­e­mony yesterday, left, with Wil­liam

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