Mumbai: Walnuts may be the key to improve mood in young men, a recent study shows. The research concluded that non-depressed healthy young males had a 27% reduction in overall mood disturbances after eating 2 ounce of walnuts every day for 8 weeks.
The research conducted by Peter Pribis, a Professor at University of New Mexico in US showcases the effects of walnut consumption on mood in young adults between the ages 18 and 25.
While maintaining their typical diet and lifestyle habits, 64 men and women consumed half a cup of walnuts daily by eating three slices of banana bread for about four months, half the time eating bread that contained walnuts and half without.
At the onset and after each phase of the study, participants answered a common questionnaire, also known as Profiles of Mood States (POMS), about key mood domains such as tension, depression, anger, vigor, fatigue and confusion.
“Our study was different because we focused on cognition, and in this controlled randomised trial (CRT), we measured mood outcomes in males and females. Profiles of Mood States is one of the most widely used and accepted mood scales in studies on cognition.
"Lower the Total Mood Disturbance score, better the mood! While no significant change in mood of women was observed, a 31% decrease in anger-hostility was discovered among men", Professor Peter Pribis said.
Professor Peter Pribis believes that walnuts are not only good for one’s mood, but overall health as well.
“In the past, studies on walnuts have shown beneficial effects on many health outcomes like heart disease, diabetes and obesity", he said.
Researchers believe the improvement may have been due to the unique nutrient profile from walnuts specifically the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content. Walnuts are the champion of ALA, the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, offering 2.5 grams per ounce (which equates to one quarter cup).
However, larger and longer-term studies are needed to clarify the benefits, especially in other populations. Additionally, more clinical trials are needed to determine the optimal quantity of walnuts needed to improve mood.
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