Long-term nut consumption may be the key to improving cognitive health in older people, according to a new study from the University of South Australia, in Australia.
They did an investigation to 4,822 Chinese adults over the age of 55. The researchers found that eating more than 10 grams of nuts a day was positively associated with improved mental functioning:
Also, lead researcher Dr Ming Li of UniSA has noted that this is the first study to report an association between cognition and nut intake in older Chinese adults. In addition, provides important information of the increase in mental health problems faced by an aging population.
“Population ageing is one of the most substantial challenges of the 21st century. Not only do people live longer, but as they age, they require additional health support,” recalls Dr. Li. In China, this is a massive problem. The population is aging much faster than other country in the world.
It therefore believes that “improved and preventive health care, including dietary modifications, can help address the challenges presented by an aging population.
“By eating more than 10 grams of nuts a day, older people can improve their cognitive function by up to 60%, avoiding what would normally be the natural ‘dose’ of two years of cognitive decline.
China has one of the fastest growing ageing populations. In 2029, the experts expect that China’s population peak to 1.44 trillion.
More generally, the World Health Organization says that by 2020, the number of people aged 60 or over will outnumber children under five.
The UniSA study analyzed nine waves of data from the China Health Nutrition Survey collected over 22 years. They found that 17% of the participants were regular consumers of nuts. However, peanuts have specific anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can alleviate and reduce cognitive decline.
“Nuts are known to be high in healthy fats, proteins, and fiber with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health,” says Dr. Li.
Certainly, The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, the number of people living with dementia is 47 million. By 2030, it is projected to increase to 75 million, and by 2050 it is estimated that the cases will almost triple. China has the largest population of people with dementia.
“As people age, they naturally experience changes in conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed. This is all part of the normal aging process,” says Dr. Li. But age is also the strongest known risk factor for cognitive diseases.
In conclusuión, if we can find ways to help older people maintain their cognitive health and independence longer. It would be good modify their diet, as a good measure.