A new study, published in journal Nutrients, proposes that walnuts consumption may be associated with a lower occurrence and frequency of depression symptoms among American adults.
After assessing the participants of the study for depression, investigators found that depression scores were 26% lower for walnut consumers. While it was 8% lower for consumers of other nuts. This data was obtained after comparison with those who did not consume nuts at all.
Intellectual disorders are the chief problem of disability and the frequency is increasing. CDC has found that one out of every six adults will have depression at some time in their life.
We need new understandings to develop new preventative approaches and new dealings for mental disorders. It is central to find low-cost interventions, like dietary changes. These interventions are easy to implement and may help decrease the incidence of depression.
Walnuts have formerly been examined for their role in cardiovascular and mental health, and now its association with depression symptoms has been seen. It provides another reason to include them in a healthy diet plan.
Dietary intake interviews
Data was examined from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which draws from a large specimen of the U.S. population. More than 26,000 American adults were questioned about their dietary intake over the course of 1 to 2 days as well as depression symptoms over the past 2 weeks.
Through an extensively accepted questionnaire, participants graded how often they experienced factors like little interest in doing things, feeling tired, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, having little energy, and trouble concentrating on things.
Researchers of the study found that walnut consumers were more expected to have a greater interest in different activities with higher energy levels, better concentration, less hopelessness, and greater optimism.
Moreover, depression scores were meaningfully lower among nuts consumers, mainly walnuts, than those who did not eat nuts, even after controlling for sex, age, race, income, smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI, and marital status.
Walnut consumers, on average, consume around 24 grams of walnuts per day. Though the association between depression scores and nut consumption was constant for men and women, the effect seemed to be strongest among women. This is because women are more likely to state greater depressive symptoms and use of antidepressants than men.
Walnuts have an exclusive fatty acid profile when compared to other tree nuts. They comprise mostly polyunsaturated fats, with a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (2.5 g/oz) that is much more than any other nut.
Limitations of the study
As with any scientific study, some research limitations should be measured. Participants were asked about their dietary picks over the course of one to two days. But it may not be demonstrative of usual eating patterns.
Depression may also change appetite and eating behaviors. Furthermore, due to the cross-sectional nature of the study, the outcomes of the study cannot prove causality.