This powerful duo may provide a big boost to your brain health
On their own, nuts and berries are hugely beneficial to your health. They're extraordinarily high in antioxidants. Eating a small amount of nuts may even reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, a study in this month's Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging found that daily consumption of walnuts can improve cognitive function, or how well your brain works. (Keep in mind this particular study was funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, but other studies have found similar results.) We're not talking about a lot of nuts here. In the walnut study, individuals reported consuming an average of 10.3 grams of walnuts per day. That's about an ounce.
Berries are great for your body, too. A 2014 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that young women who eat a serving of berries at least three times a week are less likely to suffer a heart attack than women who skip the berries. In fact, the study found, women who ate the most were 34% less likely to have suffered a heart attack than women who ate the least berries during the course of the 18-year study. Though this study was conducted in young women, the same is likely very true for men and women of all ages, the study authors said.
However, the real magic happens when the two--nuts and berries--are together. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the combination of the two power foods may help improve cognitive function and possibly slow or stop worsening neurological brain disorders. That's because the foods reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health, both important factors in your brain's health and function.
This study isn't license to give up modern medicine and treatments, of course, but it does show, once again, how powerful the connection between our food and our health really is. And since berries and nuts are very delicious together, why not use the excuse to eat more of both?