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A recent study by INC, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, showed that a high intake of nuts may help prevent cognitive decline in the elderly.

Nuts and Dry fruits can be labelled as superfoods given their high nutrition value. They’re abundant in proteins, vitamins and minerals, required for the proper functioning of the bodily functions. Along with enhancing immunity, reducing blood pressure and slowing down the ageing process, nuts also sharpen intellect and contain a high quantity of anti-oxidants.

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Over a period of three years, researchers studied the effects of a diet with high nut content on age-related cognitive decline. The study included 119 participants aged 65 and over, suffering from dementia, from the InCHIANTI cohort – ‘a representative population-based study of elderly residents of Chianti, Italy’. The selection process was based on the individual’s nut intake and they were divided into two observational groups: non-nut consumers and regular nut consumers (>=2.9 g/day).

The average nut exposure was measured at the beginning of the trial with a validated food frequency survey or with an analytical tool for the determination of phenolic compounds. The cognitive decline was measured the by Mini-Mental State Examination test.

The study revealed that 38 participants from the total 119 subjects, showed a decline in their cognitive ability, 28 were from the non-nut consumption group and 10 from the regular consumption group.

The nut consumption was determined by the dietary marker or the urinary marker model, and was linked with lower cognitive decline in both cases.

According to Professor Andrés-Lacueva, ICREA Academia at the University of Barcelona, Group leader of CIBERFES on Frailty and Healthy Aging and a principal researcher of the study, “The use of a panel of metabolites provides accurate and complementary information on nut exposure and reinforces the results obtained using dietary information”.

About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council

INC is an internationally recognized organization for the nut and the dried fruit industry, with members including more than 800 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 80 countries. The organization’s membership represents around 85+% of the world’s commercial ‘farm gate’ value of trade in nuts and dried fruits.

The main mission of INC is to encourage and facilitate sustainable growth in the global industry for nuts and dry fruits, and is one of the leading international organizations on health, nutrition, statistics, food safety and international standards and regulations regarding the products.


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