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News: March 2021

Eating nuts could help cognitive functioning

A bowl containing a range of nuts

Regularly eating a handful of nuts from middle age onwards could help lower your risk of dementia in later life according to a study carried out at the National University of Singapore[i].

The researchers found that in the long-term study of 16,000 men and women, those who ate more than two portions of nuts a week in their 40s were less likely to show signs of reduced cognitive function in their 60, 70s and 80s than those who ate nuts less than once a month.  Further studies are needed to investigate the relationship between different types of nuts and brain cognition say the researchers.

Afternoon naps found to improve mental alertness

Young woman with eyes closed calm and relaxed on a sofa

A quick afternoon nap could help mental alertness, so reports a recent study from China.[ii] It found that those who slept after lunch performed better in tests designed to assess cognitive ability than non-nappers. In particular they showed better verbal fluency and working memory said the researchers.

But beware – afternoon naps may be great for mental alertness, but they have to be done at the right time in the right way. Lunchtime or just after are ideal as anything later could interfere with night-time sleep. Duration is also important. Naps should be no longer than 20- 30 minutes, as after that you risk going into deep sleep and chances are you will wake feeling groggy.

Eating more mushrooms will increase your nutrient intake

A bowl of shitake mushrooms

Good news for mushrooms.  According to recent research published in Food Science and Nutrition[iii] adding a serving of mushrooms to your diet increases the intake of several micronutrients. Importantly this includes nutrients that the general population are deficient in such as vitamin D, potassium and fibre.

 

[i] Jiang YW, Sheng LT, Feng L, Pan A, Koh WP. Consumption of dietary nuts in midlife and risk of cognitive impairment in late-life: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Age Ageing. 2020 Dec 18:afaa267. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afaa267. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33333555.

[ii] http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gpsych-2020-100361

[iii] Food Science & Nutrition. doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2120

 

 

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