According to a research, people consumed walnuts for five days and reported feeling less hungry after consuming it. This superfood actually helps in controlling your appetite by activating the region of the brain which is linked to the regulation of hunger and cravings.
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"We know people report feeling fuller after eating walnuts, but it was pretty surprising to see evidence of activity changing in the brain related to food cues, and by extension what people were eating and how hungry they feel" lead author Dr Olivia Farr from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), located in Boston stated.
The research included 10 obese volunteers who voluntarily took part. They had to live in BIDMC's Clinical Research Center (CRC) for two sessions of five days each. The exact nutritional intake of the participants was examined closely by the researchers in the controlled environment of CRC.
During the first five-day session the partakers were given smoothies consisting of 48 grams of walnuts – as recommended by the dietary guidelines of American Diabetes Association (ADA). In the second five-day stay the participants were given a walnut-free placebo smoothie which tasted just like the walnut smoothie they were given before.
The participants reported feeling less hungry during the first stay than the second one. fMRI tests were administered on the fifth day of the experiment, which revealed the reason behind it.
The participants were shown images of desirable foods during the stay, the fMRI imaging showed increased activity in the part of the brain – right insula. The activity was not observed when they were given walnut-free diet.
"This is a powerful measure," said Christos Mantzoros, MD, DSc, PhD hc mult, director of the Human Nutrition Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
"We know there's no ambiguity in terms of study results. When participants eat walnuts, this part of their brain lights up, and we know that's connected with what they are telling us about feeling less hungry or more full," Mantzoros added.
Here are 5 benefits of the humble superfood walnut:
1. These nuts help in discouraging people from over-eating by making them feel full.
2. Walnuts are very healthy and they provide you with the dose plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.
3. These nuts are also rich in manganese, copper, biotin and molybdenum.
4. This superfood improves your health by curbing the risk of cancer, enhancing heart health and brain health.
5. Walnut is likely to reduce the risk of getting type-2 diabetes, a research carried out by Yale University revealed.