Monday, April 27, 2009

Walnuts for the Aging Brain

I never cared for walnuts as a child, but I ought to toss down a handful from time to time here in my 'advanced' age.  Actually, I've grown to like them and seem to crave them lately.  Must be my aging brain sending signals to my stomach.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2009) — Adding a moderate, but not high, amount of walnuts to an otherwise healthy diet may help older individuals improve performance on tasks that require motor and behavioral skills, according to an animal model study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists. Walnuts contain polyphenols and other antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

The study found that in aged rats, the diets containing 2 percent or 6 percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motor and cognitive shortfalls, while the 9 percent walnut diet impaired reference memory. Walnuts, eaten in moderation, appear to be among other foods containing polyphenols and bioactive substances that exhibit multiple effects on neural tissue, according to the researchers.

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