The 10 Best Nuts for Dementia

nuts for dementia

Research reveals that persons with dementia should consider adding a variety of nuts for dementia in their diets. High nut consumption, in the long run, may be the key to enhanced cognitive health in seniors. In this article we discuss at the best nuts for dementia.

NHS describes dementia as a syndrome that is associated with a constant decline of cognitive functioning. A new study, however, found that eating nuts might help boost brain function in old age. Dr. Li says that nuts are known to be high in fibre, healthy fats, and proteins with nutritional properties.

Check out some of the nuts that come highly recommended for persons living with dementia.

Best Nuts for Dementia & Alzheimer’s

best nuts for dementia and alzheimers


These are nuts that have protein which can help repair brain cells: thus, enhancing cognitive functions including memory.

Almonds are also rich in zinc which can help reduce the effects of free radicals that destroy body cells and make a person sick. Omega-3 fatty acids present in the nuts strengthen neuron function.

Furthermore, almonds consist of Vitamin E that may help to slow down the aging process of brain cells.

Brazil Nuts

Eating a single Brazil nut every day might help to reduce dementia risk and slow cognitive decline.

The above is a statement that was made by Dr. Barbara Cardoso a biochemist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University.

This is because Brazil nuts are the richest natural source of selenium. Dr. Cardoso reveals that selenium is a nutrient that lacks in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain. AD is one of the most common causes of dementia.

Brazil nuts are also said to help reduce bad cholesterol, keeping the heart healthy, regulating blood sugar, and improving neural health.


walnuts for dementia

Researchers categorize walnuts as one of the top nuts for brain health making them a great addition for nuts for dementia.

Walnuts are rich in DHA a type of Omega-3 fatty acid that is said to boost brain performance as well as prevent age-related cognitive decline. Experts also suggest that walnuts and oil derived from the nuts is helpful in reducing stress.

A study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reported that participants who consumed walnut oil and walnuts reduced their LDL levels and also recorded significant drops in resting blood pressure and blood pressure response to stress.


Hazelnuts are not only a tasty snack but they are a great source of healthy fat, vitamin E, protein, amino acids, dietary fibre, and multiple minerals and vitamins.

The nuts may help to boost brain health by assisting in the promotion and regeneration of healthy brain cells.

Hazelnuts are also said to be loaded with selenium, vitamin K, and thiamine, components that can help enhance memory.

Additionally, the nuts can help regulate digestion, aid in weight loss, improve heart health, manage diabetes, and make bones stronger.


Consuming almonds could prevent memory loss and enhance cognitive ability.

Studies conducted on the benefits of almonds show that these nuts can help stave off decline in brain function. A study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that eating almonds during lunchtime enhanced memory in the afternoon. One of the reasons for this may be that the nuts have a positive effect on balancing blood sugars.

Almonds are also said to be rich in magnesium which can combat fatigue and tiredness. The nuts are also a source of brain-boosting folate, thiamine, and niacin.

Other benefits of consuming almonds include reducing the risk of stroke, reducing cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure.


pecan nuts for dementia

Pecans are among the nuts for dementia that help in boosting the brain.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell studied the effects of pecans on the brain. They concluded that the nuts offer neurological protection. This is based on the fact that pecans are rich in antioxidants that fight off Alzheimer’s.

The antioxidant that occurs naturally in pecans include flavonoids, vitamin E, and ellagic acid. The antioxidants are said to prevent oxidation in cells that is linked to developing various dementia types.

Pecans are also a great option when it comes to fighting brain-threatening fat. Research from Loma Linda University in California and New Mexico State University revealed that pecans can also fight bad cholesterol. This is because they contain beta-sitosterol which is a natural cholesterol-lowering compound.

As nut consumption increases, overall body weight and body fat decrease according to clinical research from Harvard University School of Public Health.


Peanuts have specific antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which can alleviate and reduce cognitive decline. This is according to researchers who conducted a study observing about 5,000 Chinese adults over the age of 55 for more than twenty-two years.

They uncovered that adults who consumed more than 10 grams of nuts daily had better memory, mental functioning, reasoning, and thinking.


pistachio nuts for dementia

Pistachios are a kind of tree nut that offers multiple health benefits. The nuts are a good source of protein, fibre, and antioxidants.

Pistachios contain numerous nutrients one of them being vitamin B-6 that helps with protein metabolism and cognitive development.

Antioxidants are essential when it comes to preventing damage to the body’s cells which often results in disease development. Pistachios may also help in preventing oxidative stress that usually results in memory loss, inflammation in the brain, and preserving essential fatty acids levels.

The nuts are also known to reduce the risk of colon cancer, good for blood sugar balance, helpful in weight loss, great for heart health, good for eye health, low in calories and so much more.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are linked to several benefits like improved heart health, digestion, blood sugar control, and weight management. This is thanks to the fact that the nuts are nutrient-dense and contain beneficial plant compounds.

Netmeds reports that taking macadamia nuts may also help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s which are types of dementia. What makes this possible is the fact that the nuts are loaded with tocotrienols a kind of vitamin E which protects brain cells from glutamate effects. An anion of glutamic acid may result in multiple brain degenerative conditions.


For years, chestnuts have been an excellent food source. These are nuts that are low in fat and surprisingly high in Vitamin C which is not common with nuts.

The nuts are also a great source of antioxidants like ellagic acid and gallic acid among others that support a healthy heart, control blood sugars and enhance digestion.

Chestnuts also offer different minerals and vitamins like Vitamin C, A, & B complex, magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, copper, and iron.

Walnuts and Dementia – Beneficial Effects

walnuts and dementia

For years, researchers have been investigating the link between the benefits of consuming walnuts and dementia lowered risk or treatment.

This is in a bid to identify foods or snacks that can either help prevent the development or progression of the illness. Professionals have been collecting data indicating that eating walnuts reduces inflammation and oxidative stress that builds up in the human brain as individuals grow older.

Many believe that oxidative stress and inflammation that occurs throughout an individual’s lifetime causes aging.

As time goes by, human bodies lose the ability to clean up the mess that occurs on a cellular level.

The build-up that occurs in the brain is partially responsible for the cognitive decline that elderly persons experience.

The concept of walnuts and dementia was borrowed from Greeks who believed in the “Doctrine of Signatures.”

This implies that a specific food item affects the body part that it resembles. For instance, walnuts resemble the brain; hence, walnuts improve brain health according to the “Doctrine of Signatures.”

Benefits of consuming walnuts

benefits of consuming walnuts
There are several reasons researchers consider the consumption of walnuts beneficial to persons who have dementia or are at the risk of developing the illness.

1. Walnuts have several components that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This helps to protect cells and fight off inflammation.

2. The nuts are a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. These are no strangers to helping boost brain health according numerous studies.

3. Walnuts contain healthy fats that do a great job at nurturing the body’s cardiovascular and nervous system. Studies show that omega 3 fatty acids present in the nuts can improve things like blood pressure, abnormal heartbeats, and triglyceride levels.

4. English walnuts contain phytochemicals that include numerous polyunsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial for brain health.

5. Walnuts are rich in polyphenolic compounds that improve interneuronal signaling, reduce inflammatory and oxidant load on brain cells, and boost neurogenesis.

6. Walnuts contain huge amounts of PUFAs like LA and ALA that are known to boost brain function and health even when a person is aging.

7. The nuts have polyphenols that promote neuronal calcium homeostasis on the hippocampus and striatum regions of the brain. These are regions that are essential for secondary and primary memory functions.

8. Walnuts also contain melatonin a bioactive compound that is responsible for regulating circadian rhythms. A melatonin deficiency has been known to result in cognitive impairment and dementia.

Supplementation with walnuts can improve cognition

Both human and animal studies from various researchers propose that supplementation with walnuts in a person’s diet can improve cognition.

A diet that includes walnuts is said to have beneficial effects on learning, memory, anxiety, motor coordination, and locomotor activity. Human clinical trials also suggest that the consumption of walnuts is associated with improvement in memory and better cognitive performance.

Some experts through observational studies have confirmed that older people who eat walnuts tend to experience better brain function which can include better mental flexibility, faster processing speed, and improved memory.

Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicated that walnuts may be beneficial in reducing risk, delaying the onset and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most common causes of dementia. Below, you can find some of the studies that investigated the link between walnuts and dementia.

Studies on walnuts and dementia connection

studies on walnuts and dementia connection

A Study Citing Walnut Enriched Diet May Improve Memory

A study conducted by the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities confirmed what many experts say about walnut consumption and dementia. The researchers gave mice an equivalent of 1/4 cup of walnuts daily.

The professionals then tested their subjects to mazes and experiments that tested their psychomotor skills, coordination, and learning ability. The researchers found that the group of mice that were eating walnuts performed way better than the mice that were not on the diet.

Abha Chauhan the lead researcher was on record saying that there was a follow-up study suggesting that walnut extract could protect the brain from a protein known as beta-amyloid. This is the protein that often appears in the brain of individuals who have Alzheimer’s.

This is one of the discoveries that might help professionals with the development of novel treatments that can help people who have Alzheimer’s.

A Study Explaining Walnuts May Slow Cognitive Decline in At-Risk Seniors

A study conducted by researchers in Spain and California concluded that eating walnuts may help slow cognitive decline in elderly persons who are at risk. The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explained that healthy seniors who consumed walnuts affected their cognitive function.

The study observed almost 640 free-living elders in California, Loma Linda, Spain, USA, Catalonia, and Barcelona. The test group ate walnuts every day for 2 years while the control group did not have any walnuts.

The principal investigator Joan Sabate MD, DrPH, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Loma Lina University stated that this was one of the most-controlled and largest trials that have been conducted in regards to the effects of nuts on cognition.

He further explained that even though the study produced a minor result, there may be better outcomes if the study was conducted for longer periods. Based on the findings, Sabate said that the need for more research to find out the perks of including walnuts in a person’s diet is still necessary.

Worth noting is that the research team was one of the pioneers to uncover the lowering effects of cholesterol when eating walnuts. These findings were published in 1993 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Additionally, researchers from Loma Linda University found that nut consumption relates to the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Closing Thoughts

Although numerous studies investigated walnuts and dementia, more research is still necessary.

The data collected through future research will ascertain whether or not the consumption of walnuts has a significant impact on brain function and health as people grow older.

Keep in mind that most studies confirm that the brain prefers the whole nut rather than the supplement.

You may be interested in reading more about the benefits of people with cognitive decline eating a variety of nuts and dementia.

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