If you are having a rough day, grab yourself a handful of nuts. A new study says that walnuts help reduce blood pressure during times of stress.
The study, which was funded by the Walnut Commission of Sacramento, followed 22 adults who had above average levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). Researchers were looking to see what effect, if any, walnuts have on the body during a time of stress. In separate six-week periods, participants followed three different diets: the "average" American diet, free of nuts and mirroring what the typical American usually eats. The second diet included roughly nine walnuts and a tablespoon of walnut oil. And the third diet included the walnuts and walnut oil with the addition of flaxseed oil. Caloriewise, all diets were the same.
Researchers measured stress levels in participants by making them give a speech and also having one foot immersed in cold water. The walnut diet — minus the flaxseed — proved to be the most beneficial in helping with stress. The walnut-rich diet also lowered the participants' resting blood pressure. Here's to the walnut!