STATES CHRONICLE – Walnuts are an incredibly healthy meal option, and some doctors and nutritionists regard them as a wise choice for people suffering from diabetes, obesity, or for those who survived colon cancer. This is why they started looking at the changes occurring in the body when people eat walnuts, and found out why they were so good.
Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston selected a few participants suffering from obesity and put them on a diet based on walnuts. Then, they discovered how their brain activity got more intense in that region responsible with controlling the appetite.
So far, researchers have observed how people reported feeling fuller after consuming walnuts. Now, they were able to identify the changes directly related to food and appetite which occurred in their brains. Therefore, this could further influence the diet of these people, and their hunger sensation.
During the experiment which lasted for two periods of five days, participants had to live in the research center. This way, researchers could keep a close look on their diet. Some of them received a walnut smoothie, while the others had to drink a placebo smoothie with no walnuts, but a taste identical to the first one.
A certain area of the brain got activated after people ate walnuts
On day five, researchers performed brain scans on the participants and looked for any differences in their activity. They showed the participants photos of unhealthy foods, such as burgers or other appealing meals, and of healthy foods, such as vegetables.
In those who drank the walnut smoothie, there was a higher activity in their right insula of the brain. This area controls the feelings of satiety. More precisely, these people had more going on in the specific area while viewing photos of unhealthy foods.
Therefore, eating walnuts helps people feel full more quickly, preventing them from consuming more unhealthy foods. Now, researchers hope they can ‘steal’ the secrets of these nuts and add them to a drug to help prevent obesity. All the findings are present in the journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism.
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