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2011-12-05

Walnuts for Cognitive Health

Here is a great example of the Doctrine of Signatures in action. Since the walnut looks like a brain, according to the Doctrine of Signatures--which is a long-held belief/principle/theory common to various forms of traditional medicine (in which a plant's physical appearance gives clues as to its medicinal uses)--it would make sense that walnuts would be healthy for the brain. Well, this new study suggests that's true.

In this study, the authors sought to determine the effects of walnuts on verbal and non-verbal reasoning, memory, and mood.

College students were randomly assigned to two treatment sequences in a crossover fashion: walnuts-placebo or placebo-walnuts. Baseline data were collected for non-verbal reasoning, verbal reasoning, memory and mood states. Data were collected again after 8 weeks of intervention. After 6 weeks of washout, the intervention groups followed the diets in reverse order. Data were collected once more at the end of the 8-week intervention period.

Results showed that eating walnuts significantly increased inferential verbal reasoning by 11.2 %. However, no significant increases were detected for mood, non-verbal reasoning or memory in the walnut-supplemented diet. The authors conclude that "in healthy young adults, walnuts may have the ability to increase inferential reasoning."

Source: Effects of walnut consumption on cognitive performance in young adults

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1 comment:

  1. What a coincidence.
    I was eating a walnut baklava while I read this. :)

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