UNM study: Walnuts a mood booster for men

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The key to a better mood is walnuts, at least that’s what one University of New Mexico study found. But there is a catch – it only works on men.

A handful of walnuts is all men will need to put themselves in a better mood. According to a few UNM students, they’re in need of some mood boosters.

According to a few UNM students, they’re in need of some mood boosters.

“School and everything kind of stresses me out,” said Vernon Warner.

“Homework, I have two jobs, so there’s a lot on my plate most of the time,” said Joshua Valenzuela.

UNM’s Dr. Peter Pribis was always interested in the nutrients found in walnuts, so he wanted to see if there were any benefits for the brain. He tested 64 students over an eight-week period, feeding them a steady diet of banana bread, and making sure not to run into any placebo effects.

“Ground the walnuts very finely and basically hid it in the banana bread so that the students were not able to recognize what they were eating,” he said.

After the testing period, he found a 27 percent improvement in the moods of the male students, but the female students didn’t feel any of the effects from the walnuts.

“The omega 3 fatty acids are converted more in females than males, so you would suspect or hope that actually females should benefit more. But actually we have discovered it’s the opposite,” he said.

So for these Lobo men, cracking a handful of walnuts seems like a simple task to feel a little less stressed.

“That’s pretty doable. I can get a handful of walnuts easily like that,” said Warner.

“Just a handful would be pretty easy, it’s pretty much a snack and that’s something I could carry for my lunch,” said Valenzuela.

Dr. Pribis says just because the study didn’t show any benefits for women’s moods, it doesn’t mean they should avoid eating walnuts. There are still plenty of other health benefits including preventing heart disease, diabetes and obesity in both men and women.

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