Dementia: The best type of vegetable to consume improving brain function by up to 11 years
Dementia occurs when the nerve cells in the brain are damaged. In order to minimise the risk of nerve damage in the brain, it’s important to consider what nutritional value to add into the body. Research points to one particular type of vegetables which could significantly help to reduce your risk of the brain condition.
Elderly people consuming one portion of vegetables per day had brains effectively 11 years younger than those who did not, according to research.
A study of elderly people found those who ate around one serving of leafy greens each day had brains that were the equivalent of 11 years younger than those who never or rarely ate the vegetables.
The study was published in Neurology and found that eating one serving of leafy green vegetables a day helped to preserve memory and thinking skills as one grows older.
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“Adding a daily serving of green leafy vegetables to your diet may be a simple way to help promote brain health,” said study author Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist.
“There continues to be sharp increases in the percentage of people with dementia as the oldest age groups continue to grow in number.
Effective strategies to prevent dementia are critically needed.”
The study results suggest that people who ate one serving of green, leafy vegetables had a slower rate of decline on tests of memory and thinking skills than people who rarely or never ate them.
The study divided participants into five groups based on how often they ate green leafy vegetables and compared the cognitive assessments of those who ate the most (an average of about 1.3 servings per day) and those who ate the least (0.1 servings per day).
It was found that participants’ scores on the thinking and memory tests declined at a rate of 0.08 standardised units per year.
Over 10 years of follow-up, the rate of decline for those who ate the leafiest greens was slower by 0.05 standardised units per year than the rate for those who ate the least leafy greens.
This difference was equivalent to being 11 years younger in age, according to Morris.
According to the British Heart Foundation, some of the best foods to help reduce your risk of dementia can include:
- Wholegrains (three or more servings a day)
- Other vegetables (one or more servings a day)
- Nuts (on most days)
- Beans and lentils (three or more servings a week)
- Berries, including blueberries and strawberries (two or more servings a week)
- Chicken or turkey (two or more servings a week)
- Fish (one or more servings a week)
- Olive oil (as the main oil or fat you use)
- Wine (no more than one small glass a day – more than this and it becomes more likely to harm health than help it).
Eating to reduce your risk of dementia also includes reducing the amount of saturated fat which is present in sausages, bacon, and cheese.
Furthermore, starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, and pasta can be helpful.
As well as considering the foods you eat, your diet also includes what drinks you consume.
For the best chance of reducing your risk of dementia, six to eight glasses of water are ideal.
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