The study reported for the first time a link between eating nuts and higher levels of serotonin in the bodies of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS), who are at high risk for heart disease. Serotonin is a substance that helps transmit nerve signals, decreases feelings of hunger, and improves heart health. It took only one ounce of mixed nuts, such as raw unpeeled walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, a day to produce the good effects.
Researchers put 22 MetS patients on a nut-enriched diet for 12 weeks and compared them to another group of 20 patients who were told to avoid nuts. The scientists found evidence that nut consumption had boosted patients’ levels of serotonin. Researchers from the University of Barcelona explain that the rise in obesity around the world means more and more patients have MetS. Symptoms include excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, which increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Dietary changes such as regular consumption of nuts , packed with healthful nutrients, such as healthy fats and antioxidants, may help patients shed the excess weight and become healthier.