Eating nuts regularly strengthens brainwaves related to cognition, learning, memory and even healing, new research finds.
Pistachios were particularly good at boosting the brain’s gamma wave response.
Gamma waves are critical for faster cognitive process, learning, memory and even sleep.
Peanuts, meanwhile, enhanced the brain’s delta response.
The delta response is important for deep sleep, healing and healthy immunity.
Because of their antioxidant content, nuts have already been shown to benefit the heart, reduce inflammation and slow the aging process.
Dr Lee Berk, the study’s first author, said:
“This study provides significant beneficial findings by demonstrating that nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body.”
For the research, different people ate six different types of nuts: walnuts, pecans, pistachios, peanuts, cashews and almonds.
Their brain waves were measured using EEG recordings.
All the different types of nuts contain antioxidants, with walnuts containing the highest levels.
The study’s authors write:
“Nuts are a major source of flavonoids.
They are potent antioxidants with known mechanisms that provide cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown that absorbed flavonoids penetrate and accumulate in brain hippocampal regions involved in learning and memory.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was presented at Experimental Biology 2017 (Berk et al., 2017).