Being a college student is one of the most stressful parts in life. In fact, eight out of ten college students say they feel stressed often, and 61% of college students go to counselling for anxiety, depression, or other problems. There is a connection between stress and diet, and stress can affect what you eat. Due to the complex interactions between the brain, the gut, and the gut microbiota, nutritional interventions may be able to stop mental health from getting worse. A recent clinical experiment was held by scientists at the University of South Australia to understand walnuts benefits for stress. It showed that undergraduate students who ate walnuts while they were in school had better self-reported measures of mental health and biomarkers of general health.
Overview of the study
In the study to understand walnuts benefits for reducing stress, 18 – 35 years old college students were picked at random to be in either a treatment group or a control group for 16 weeks. The treatment group was given walnuts already measured out and told to eat one serving (about 56 grams) per day. The people in the control group were told not to eat any nuts or fatty fish for the same amount of time. During the study, participants gave blood and saliva samples and filled out questionnaires about their mental health, mood, general well-being, and sleep habits three times. At each clinical visit, a small group of participants also gave faecal samples. The study was done with a total of 60 people, 30 in each group.
Study on Walnuts Benefits
Different studies have shown various walnuts benefits as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, melatonin (a hormone that makes you sleepy), polyphenols, folate, and vitamin E. All of these things are good for the health of your brain and digestive system. According to the result of the study:
- When walnuts were eaten every day, there were no big changes in scores for mental health, stress, and depression.
- On eating walnut daily, total protein and albumin levels went up. This may protect metabolic biomarkers from the bad effects of academic stress.
- Females with more academic stress had less variety of bacteria in their guts. But eating walnuts every day might make up for the damage that academic stress does to the diversity of gut microbiota in females.
- In the long run, eating walnuts may help you sleep better.
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