The effects of aging can impact quality of life and the ability to maintain independence. Research on the role of diet on brain health continues to evolve. Limited evidence suggests that eating a diet containing a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and seafood during adulthood is associated with lower risk of age-related cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.1
Currently, there is no way to prevent diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but people of all ages can benefit from taking steps to maintain overall health throughout the aging process. A published review of research studies suggests that nutrients found in walnuts may support brain health and change factors related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.2 When it comes to brain health, heart health is also important because the heart pumps blood to the brain so it can function properly. Walnuts are a heart-healthy3 food that may have beneficial effects on various cardiovascular markers such as LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”) cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and plaque formation. More than twenty-five years of scientific research support these claims.
See below for the latest walnut health research, healthy aging tips, and recipes.
12015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee: Systematic Reviews of the Dietary Patterns, Foods and Nutrients, and Health Outcomes Subcommittee.
2Poulose SM, Miller MG, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age. J Nutr. 2014;144(4 Suppl):561S-566S.
3Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One ounce of walnuts provides 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3.