Brain Health Several human studies indicate that eating nuts may improve brain function. They also show that walnuts can help with depression and age-related decline in brain function.
A study of elderly people linked regular consumption of walnuts with significant memory improvement (57). However, these studies were observational and therefore can’t prove that walnuts were the cause of improvements in brain function. Stronger evidence is provided by studies that investigate the effect of eating walnuts directly. One 8-week study of 64 young, healthy adults, found that eating walnuts improved comprehension. However, significant improvements in non-verbal reasoning, memory and mood were not detected .
Nevertheless, walnuts have also been shown to improve brain function in animals.
In another study, mice with Alzheimer’s disease were fed walnuts every day for 10 months. Their memory and learning skills improved significantly.
Similarly, studies of elderly rats found that eating walnuts for eight weeks reversed age-related impairments in brain function.
These effects are probably due to the high antioxidant content of walnuts. However, their omega-3 fatty acids may also play a role .