(CBS Local) — For everyone who enjoys a healthy snack during their day, a new study is giving people more incentive to carry a bag of nuts with them. Scientists say the hard-shelled treats have a big impact on human brainwave functions.
Researchers at Loma Linda University Health said regularly eating nuts and legumes, which include peanuts, strengthens brainwaves associated with healing, learning, and memory.
“This study provides significant beneficial findings by demonstrating that nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body,” lead researcher Dr. Lee Berk said in a press release.
The study, published in FASEB Journal, observed the effects eating walnuts, pecans, pistachios, peanuts, cashews, and almonds had on each subject’s brain. The results found that if you’re a fan of pistachios, it’s time to go nuts on the tasty treat. Pistachios reportedly produced the greatest gamma wave response, which enhances cognitive processing, learning, and perception.
Peanuts produced the highest delta wave response, which is associated with the body’s immune response, natural healing, and deep sleep.
While all of the nuts tested had slightly different effects on brain functions, the Loma Linda team says each one was packed with antioxidants as well. Walnuts contained the highest amount of the anti-aging chemicals, which are believed to help neutralize harmful free radicals the body produces when eating food.
Many diets, like the Mediterranean diet, commonly replace meats with nuts as a source of fat and protein the body needs on a daily basis. The new research is now adding your mental health to the list of benefits packed into each tiny shell.