It is frequently promoted that a good diet will equal good health and may assist in delaying and preventing the onset of multiple diseases, including dementia.
However, there are so many diets promoted and so many different supplements to choose from, what is the right thing to do? Well it might be as simple as a daily dose of fruit and veggies to improve brain health.
Researchers undertook a population-based observational study within China and examined the diet of more than 17,000 Chinese older adults and followed their cognitive status for six years.
The results, published in the Journal Age and Aging, aimed to investigate whether adhering to the five-a-day recommendation of ‘2 serves of fruit and 3 serves of vegetables’ is associated with reduced dementia risk.
After analysing the six years’ worth of data and the cognitive scores of the study participants, the researchers found that dementia risk was lessened when participants followed the five-a- day recommendation. It should be noted that the research team also took other health factors into consideration to ensure they were confident with their statements. So as an example, this doesn’t mean that eating fruit and vegetables will override the effects of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, as this was all factored in to their analysis.
Fruit and vegetables contain lots of nutritional value such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are important for health – so it isn’t a shock to hear of these results and this conclusion is backed up by many other studies around the world from previous years. However it is always good to see further scientific evidence to back up a health related recommendation.
The researchers now want to undertake future studies to confirm whether the observed association is present in other large cohorts of older adults from different ethnicities and also want to understand further as to why fruit and vegetables may delay dementia, as this is currently not fully understood.