An intriguing new study suggests that walnuts might be an excellent food for weight loss. Walnuts have long-been considered a super nut of sorts — they are rich in healthy fatty acids — and have been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and obesity.
And now, a study carried out by a team of researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston seems to indicate that adding walnuts to your diet is a great way to stave off hunger pangs and help you lose weight.
Researchers Study The Effects of Walnuts on Hunger
To analyze the walnut’s efficacy as a potential weight loss aid, the Boston-based medical researchers conducted an experiment where they had 9 obese patients either drink a walnut smoothie or drink a placebo smoothie that tasted like walnuts for five straight days.
From there, the researchers requested that the obese patients return to their normal diet for a month. A month later, the researchers brought the patients back in and gave them the smoothies again. The patients who drank the walnut smoothie the first time were given the similar-tasting placebo smoothie, and those who were first tricked with the placebo were given the drink containing real walnuts.
The patients were then given MRI examinations while they looked at pictures of unhealthy foods, healthy foods, and pictures of random things like animals and rocks.
The researchers found that the insula, the brain area that controls our cravings and suppresses our impulses, was activated when the patients who were given the smoothie made with real walnuts looked at pictures of unhealthy foods. This was not the case for the patients who drank the placebo smoothie.
These findings suggest that walnuts have the ability to suppress our appetites. Olivia M. Farr, the lead author of the research study, concluded that:
“Walnuts can alter the way our brains view food and impact our appetites.”
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