According to a new Spanish study, consuming 30 g of nuts, almonds or other oilseeds each day would significantly reduce the risk of depression. A good reason to always have a handful at hand!
Do you like snacking on nuts or pistachios? You should continue. According to a new Spanish study carried out on a British public, a daily portion of 30 g of nuts only (which includes peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios or a mixture of all these) would reduce the risk by 17% to fall into depression, due to an anti-inflammatory action on the brain.
Less depression among regular users
The researchers looked at data from more than 13,500 people in the UK aged 37 to 73 who were depression-free at the start of the study. Participants’ nut consumption was recorded, including unsalted nuts such as almonds, cashews and pistachios, salted or roasted walnuts and peanuts. They were then followed for five years, during which 8% were diagnosed with depression. The analysis found that low-to-moderate nut consumption, the equivalent of one 30g serving per day, was linked to a 17% lower risk of depression compared to people who did not eat nuts at all.
For the scientists, these results were independent of other lifestyle and health factors. It is the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of nuts on the brain that may be behind these positive results. Already beneficial for the brain and for fighting cardiovascular disease, nuts still have a good reason to be added to our diet, says lead author Bruno Bizzozero-Peroni.
NO to diets, YES to WW!
A healthy and easy-to-establish eating habit
Putting more nuts in our menus or our snacks seems possible. “Our findings highlight the potential role of nut consumption as a healthy eating behavior in preventing depression in those without other known risk factors for depression such as obesity, lifestyle unhealthy, loneliness and special medical conditions” confirm the authors. “Given that diet is a modifiable factor, future long-term clinical trials should assess whether nut consumption is an effective strategy for preventing depression in adults.“, they continue.
In concrete terms, to try it out, know that a 30 g serving of nuts is roughly equivalent to 20 almonds, 10 Brazil nuts, 15 cashews, 40 peanuts or 30 pistachios. To make this reflex as healthy as possible, however, official recommendations in Europe encourage the consumption of a small handful per day of unsalted, unsweetened and chocolate-free nuts.