Even drinking tea for breakfast, leafy greens for lunch, and red wine for dinner may reduce the risk of dementia.
According to researchers, foods and beverages containing antioxidant flavonols (plant compounds found in various fruits and vegetables, wine, tea, and chocolate) appear to slow the rate of cognitive decline.
Scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago enrolled 961 people with an average age of 81 years without dementia in a seven-year study published in the online journal. neurology.
Participants completed annual questionnaires about the foods they ate and their frequency, and completed cognitive and memory tests that asked them to recall lists of words, remember numbers, and put them in the correct order.
They were divided into five equal groups based on the amount of flavanols contained in each diet.
Subjects consumed an average of 10 milligrams (mg) of total flavanols daily, with the lowest group consuming 5 mg and the highest group consuming 15 mg. of tea.
Researchers measured cognitive decline using a global scoring system.
They found that those with the highest flavonol intake experienced a 32% reduction in cognitive decline compared to those with the lowest flavonol intake.
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Kale, beans, tea, spinach and broccoli were eaten by participants with the slowest cognitive decline, but tomatoes, apples, tea, wine and oranges also helped.
“We are excited that our research shows that certain dietary choices can slow the rate of cognitive decline.
“The simple things of eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea are simple ways for people to play an active role in maintaining brain health.
“At the end of the day, we want people to know that it’s never too early or too late to start making healthy lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to diet.” It adds to the growing evidence that what people eat matters.”