by Edith Gómez
Translated by Charles E. Lincoln
Recent studies suggest that you can dramatically reduce the risk of many illnesses, including coronarydisease, by eating those dry but oily and meaty fruits we call “nuts,” while simultaneously improving your “work memory”, meaning your short-term storage of information.
In addition to nutritional benefits, food sources including nuts and virgin olive oil—belonging to the ancient cultural and dietary traditions of the Mediterranean—are rich in polyphenols, antioxidant phytochemicals which help the body fight against the effect of “rusting” molecules, in addition to which polyphenols are associated (again) with improved performance in memory tests and overall cognitive function in people of older age and with a correlative diminution of cardiovascular risks.
Participants in the PreDiMed (Prevention with Mediterranean Diet) have completed their research and were able to conclude the regular consumption of these dry fruits could reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes type 2.
Among dry “hard-shell” fruits, nuts have a greater number and quality of antioxidants than any of the others, in addition to be distinguished by their anti-inflammatory properties.
Nuts, memory, and cognition
Among the greatest advantages which this dry fruit may have, nuts also stimulate brain function, and as noted above, even enhances memory. Nuts, foods so rich in antioxidants, also fight against the decline in cognition associated with aging.
On study carried out of the tem of Emilio Ros, chief of the cellular biology unit of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, suggests that the regular consumption of nuts, and no other dry fruit, is related to improved working (i.e. “operational”, “short term”) memory.
The authors define “working memory” as “the system which permits the short-term storage of information to carry out verbal and non-verbal instructions and assignments, such as reasoning and comprehension, and determines what is available for processing subsequently received information.”
“Consumption of food rich in antioxidants typical of the Mediterranean diet could counteract the cognitive decline associated with age, affirms Cinta Valls-Pedret, principal author of the Barcelona research.
Alzheimer: Nuts for the Defense!
A new scientific investigation completed at the Department of Neurochemistry at the Institute of Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities of the University of New York suggests that the “nut extract” (the dry fruit without its fiber) has protective effects against “oxidation stress” and cellular death which occurs in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
These researchers considered whether the extract o nuts could have a defensive effect again oxidation damage induced by the beta protein Almyloid and cytotoxicity. They arrived at the conclusion that the extract of nuts reduces cellular death caused by the almyloids by reducing the generation of free radicals, reducing the damage to the membranes and alleviating the damage to the DNA.
The principal investigator of the New York project affirms that “the results of our previous studies and our current study (in reference to the PreDiMed collaboration mentioned above) suggest that the diet with nuts can reduce the risk of dementia in the elder population.
Recipes with Nuts
Nuts can be eaten in many delicious ways. Alone (and dry) they have a wonderful flavor, but they can also be mixed with yoghurt, salads, including a fruit salad or “Macedonia”, using the expressed nut oil as dressing.
Nuts are a great nutritional food source which should be present in your diet. If you don’t eat them for their high quantity of calories, at least eat them in moderation. A handful a day will do for you to obtain and enjoy all the benefits which nuts offer you maintaining in line your calories.
(The Author: Edith Gómez is an editor in Gananci, dedicated to online marketing and communication. She refuses to sleep at night without having learnt something new each day. Business ideas disturb her and so, more than anything else, she brings a creative viewpoint to the small world in which we live. Twitter: @edigomben).