Remember when your mom told you eat walnuts because they have a lot of benefits to offer, she was absolutely right! Walnuts improve our immunity and are good for our bone and brain health. But here’s another reason why you must munch on these bite-sized nibbles.
A recent study found that women in their late 50s and early 60s who consumed at least two servings of walnuts per week had a greater probability of healthy ageing compared to those who did not.
The study published in the Journal of Aging Research, defined “healthy ageing” as longevity with sound mental health and no major chronic diseases, cognitive issues or physical impairments, following the age of 65.
In a previously-conducted research, it was found that eating walnuts may have a positive impact on reducing the risk for physical impairments in adults as well as cognitive decline. In the same research group, it was also found a decrease in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes–both conditions that become more common as we age.
We cannot fight nature to slow down the effects of ageing. However, adopting healthy habits like snacking on a handful of walnuts, can definitely help slow down the process for healthy ageing.
In the study, the researcher Francine Grodstein from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US, examined data from 33,931 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) to analyse the link between nut consumption and overall well-being and healthy ageing. Although previous research has connected a healthy diet, including walnuts, to better physical function among adult men and women, this study only included women.
During the study period, from 1998-2002, female nurses in the NHS were asked about their diet including their nut consumption. And were evaluated for any chronic disease such as cancer, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. They were further assessed for memory concerns, mental health, and physical limitations.
About 16% of the participants who had walnuts in their diet were found to be healthy agers as defined by the Journal of Aging Research and had intact mental health and reported no memory impairment or physical disabilities. According to the researchers, there needs to be more research to understand if these results hold true among men.
This was just an observational study and did not prove any cause or effect, however, the research does shed light on simple habits that can influence health during later years in life – such as eating walnuts.
So, take your call for healthy ageing!