Handful of Nuts Daily Linked to Lower Depression

Rates of depression dropped by as much as 17%
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2023 9:35 AM CDT
Handful of Nuts Daily Linked to Lower Depression
Nuts may have a benefit in regard to depression, a study suggests.   (Getty /popovaphoto)

People who are not afflicted with nut allergies know the joys of chowing down on them—a little fat, a little protein, touch of salt, and you can keep going. Now a study suggests a potential health benefit for those who partake: a reduced risk of depression. The study of 13,500 UK citizens ages 37 through 73 over five years found that people who ate a relatively modest total of 30 grams of nuts per day had a 17% lower risk of depression, the New York Post reports. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

'Our results highlight the potential role of nut consumption as a healthy dietary behavior to prevent depression in those free of other known risk factors for depression such as obesity, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors loneliness and medical conditions," write the researchers. Eating 30 grams of nuts translates to consuming about 40 peanuts (technically legumes, but they were included in the study) or varying amounts of other nuts: 20 pistachios, 20 almonds, 10 Brazil nuts, or 15 cashews, per the Post. This isn't the first study to note some connection between consuming nuts and lower rates of depression.

A 2019 study published in the National Library of Medicine found that people who consumed walnuts had lower rates of depression. Additionally, a 2020 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that Iranian men who ate legumes and nuts experienced notably less anxiety than those who did not. Asked for comment about the new findings, immunologist Dr. Jenna Macciochi told the Independent that she thinks "there is still a lot we need to learn regarding the potential mechanisms at play and a deeper understanding of this in the future will be useful when making dietary recommendations." (More nuts stories.)

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