November 22nd, 2016

Did You Know: Walnuts Can Boost Your Mood.

Does heading home for the holidays stress you out? Read this. 

Photo via California Walnut Commission

Photo via California Walnut Commission

New research shows eating walnuts can help decrease anger and boost your mood.

Ah the holidays, time to gather with friends and family for copious amounts of decadent food and exchange passive aggressive jabs and backhanded compliments about one another’s life choices. Thanksgiving especially is known for heated and borderline inappropriate political conversations, and in the aftermath of this year’s presidential election, you can rest assured that this one will be a doozy! Couple all that with the bountiful carbohydrates served, and the drinks needed to take the edge off, and the inevitable mood and belly hangover–it really is the most wonderful time of the year! This year, instead of stressing over how you are going to deal with these nuts you are forced to call family, take solace in another nut, the walnut.

Walnuts have long been celebrated for containing omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient involved in many brain functions essential for a good mood. Now, new research conducted by the Nutrition Program of the University of New Mexico further supports the notion that eating walnuts can have a positive effect on mood, specifically by looking at the effect these nutrient-packed-wonders had on the mood of college students.

The study, Effects of Walnut Consumption on Mood in Young Adults—A Randomized Controlled Trial, evaluated the effects of walnut consumption on college students. 64 students were either given walnut bread or walnut placebo bread for 6 weeks. Their research found that mood improved by almost 28% in subjects after eating walnuts! However, at conclusion, the most astonishing result of the study was a significant improvement in the “Total Mood Disturbance” score (which evaluated anger and hostility) in healthy men. The anger-hostility score of these healthy, college-aged men decreased by 31%. AKA, more walnuts, less anger! Could walnuts be just what you need to help keep your cool when estranged Uncle Fran starts talking about the election with turkey spewing out of his mouth? It seems so!

There may be a reason why these magic little nuts look like our brains, they can help them function as well.

Try adding a couple walnuts to your Thanksgiving table this year with our recipes for Cinnamon-Spiced (and everything nice!) Walnuts and Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad to take the edge off so that you focus on on what really matters, giving thanks.

(For more information about the benefits of walnuts visit Full study available here.)