Walnuts to Relieve Exam Stress
Stressed college students might benefit by adding walnuts to their diet before their next exam. A randomized clinical trial published in the journal Nutrients sought to investigate the effects of academic stress and daily walnut consumption on mental health, general well-being and gut microbiota in a group of 80 college students. Walnuts are full of nutrients that support brain and gut health, including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, melatonin (sleep-inducing hormone), polyphenols, folate and vitamin E.
The University of South Australia researchers concluded that daily consumption of one half cup of walnuts improved self-reported mood and mental health status, metabolic biomarkers and sleep quality. The data also suggested that walnuts might counteract the negative effects of academic stress on the gut microbiota in women. The scientists noted that more research was needed with respect to males, as far fewer men participated in this study. They also cautioned that the placebo effect could have influenced results, as this was not a blind study.