Nuts, which have already been associated with various health benefits such as cardiovascular health (cholesterol, blood pressure) and prevention of breast cancer, may also improve mood, according to a Spanish study published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

Cristina Andres-Lacueva of the University of Barcelona and her team found this benefit by conducting a study with people with metabolic syndrome, characterized in particular by abdominal obesity, which aimed to identify ways to promote weight loss and better health.

A group of 22 people took 30 grams of a mixture of nuts from Grenoble, almonds and Brazil nuts daily and a group of 20 people had to avoid nuts.

The group that took nuts had higher levels of metabolites of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to the regulation of mood, appetite and sleep. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings, the authors note. However, nuts should be consumed in moderation because they contain a lot of calories. But, rich in fiber and nutrients, a small amount brings a good feeling of satiety.