Want to stave off dementia? All you need to do is to eat walnuts everyday, according to a new study, led by an Indian-origin researcher.
Dr Abha Chauhan and his colleagues at New York State Institute have carried out the study and found eating walnuts on a regular basis can keep one's mental skills up.
According to the researchers, vitamin E and flavonoids in walnuts actually help in destroying harmful free radical chemicals that cause dementia. "Walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset or slowing progression of Alzheimer's disease," the 'Daily Express' quoted Dr Chauhan as saying.
The researchers have based their findings on an analysis of an experiment on laboratory rodents some of whom were fed walnuts. Feeding the nuts to mice with Alzheimer's disease kept their mental skills up, researchers discovered. But those mice deprived of them suffered a dramatic loss in learning, memory and physical and emotional control. The results represent a breakthrough in the study of how the brain decays. Other studies have shown the benefits of tea and coffee and exercise.
A study by Harvard Medical School of 1,200 elderly people showed "moderate to heavy" exercise afforded a 40 per cent lower risk of dementia. A second study suggested a regular cup of tea or coffee could stave off mental decline.
Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles, monitored 4,800 people aged over 65 and found that those who drank tea regularly were up to 37 per cent less likely to suffer a reduction in mental ability. Prof Clive Ballard of the Alzheimer's Society said: "Walnuts are high in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. But as this study is carried out on mice, we can't say for certain the benefits of a walnut-rich diet for humans."