Nuts pack a nutritional (and brainy) punch, researchers sayJune 22 2018
Children aged 8-13 years are being sought for a University of South Australia study to test whether nuts can improve their cognitive ability.
Nutrient-rich tree nuts – including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts – are already recognised for their health benefits, but there is mounting evidence that they can also help perception, thinking and learning, UniSA researchers say.
The UniSA study follows on the heels of research that shows tree nuts can improve vascular health and cognitive function in adults, but there is scant research looking at the health benefits for children.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Alison Coates wants to recruit healthy boys and girls aged 8-13 years who are not allergic to nuts and have no sleep or behavioural disorders.
“We will be asking the children to eat 30g of almonds five days a week for eight weeks – that’s about 23 almonds each day,” Assoc Prof Coates says.
The researchers will use brain game tests to compare the children’s cognitive ability with a control group of other children on a nut-free diet for eight weeks.
Less than 10 per cent of Australian children consume nuts regularly, Assoc Prof Coates says, despite demonstrated health benefits in adults.
“Multiple US surveys involving 10,000 adults have already demonstrated a link between regular nut consumption and improved cognitive function, regardless of age, gender, race, education, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity.
“Other European studies looking at the benefits of a Mediterranean diet – including mixed nuts – showed better cognitive ability and a lower risk of depression compared with participants on a low-fat diet,” Assoc Prof Coates says.
Her current study is funded by the Almond Board of Australia.
For more details and o take part in the study please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Candy Gibson mobile 0434 605 142 email mailto:email@example.com
RT @RogerEston: Great to be at the first birthday celebration at UniSA’s Pridham Hall. Amazing facility and great staff! Congratulations Br…
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College