A cup of tea for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch, and a glass of red wine for dinner could lower your risk of dementia, new research finds.
People who consume more food or beverages that contain antioxidant flavonols — plant compounds linked to a variety of health benefits — appear to have slower cognitive decline, researchers say.
Researchers at Rush Medical Center in Chicago recruited 961 people with an average age of 81 who did not have dementia for their seven-year study.
Participants completed a questionnaire each year about how often they ate certain foods, and completed annual cognitive and memory tests, including word list recall, number recall, and putting them in the correct order.
They were then divided into five equal groups based on the amount of flavanols they had in their diet.
On average, the participants had an average dietary intake of about 10 milligrams (mg) of total flavanols per day.
The lowest group consumed about 5 mg per day, while the highest group consumed an average of 15 mg per day — the equivalent of one cup of dark leafy greens or three to four cups of tea.
A cup of tea for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch, and a glass of red wine for dinner may lower your risk of dementia, new research finds (File)
Dementia rates are falling thanks to a health-conscious generation, study finds
America’s dementia rates have fallen by a third in the last two decades — even though more people than ever are living with the disease.
Researchers say lower smoking rates and better education about diet and other risk factors have led to the relatively rapid decline.
An estimated 8.5 percent of Americans over the age of 65 had the memory-wasting disorder in 2016 — the most recent year — compared to 12.2 percent in 2000.
But a rapidly growing and aging population means the pure number of people living with dementia rose by more than 200,000 to 4.2 million during that time, the researchers said.
More recent figures suggest around 7 million Americans have dementia – although there is mounting evidence that rates are slowing in developed countries.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of adults with dementia is expected to double over the next three decades, reaching nearly 13 million.
Experts at California-based research organization RAND, who conducted the latest study, said trends are “uncertain” in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
To measure cognitive decline, the researchers used a global rating system that includes 19 different tests.
The analysis found that people with the highest flavonol intake had a 32 percent lower rate of cognitive decline than those with the lowest.
The study also found that those who got most of their flavonols from kale, beans, tea, spinach and broccoli had the slowest cognitive decline.
But those who consumed tomatoes, apples, tea, wine and oranges also saw a benefit.
Study author Thomas Holland said: “It’s exciting that our study shows that making specific dietary choices can lead to slower cognitive decline.
“Something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health.
“Ultimately, I 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.
“The research presented here adds to the ever-growing evidence that what we eat matters.”
dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Strategic Initiatives at Alzheimer’s Research UK, commented on the findings: “Our diet is just one factor that can affect our brain health and researchers are still trying to understand how certain dietary components, such as flavonols, affect our memory and thinking ability.
“Previous studies have suggested that flavonols may help protect brain cells from damage, which has led researchers to explore their potential role in slowing cognitive decline.
“This new study also looks at how different types of flavonols might affect our brain health — something that hasn’t been explored in detail before.
“While researchers have been trying to figure out what role flavonols play in slowing down cognitive decline, it’s always difficult to rule out other factors that might affect the results of this type of research.
“Since the average age of the participants at the start of this study was 81, their lifestyle in the years leading up to the study likely influenced their risk of cognitive decline.
“What we can say for now is that there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that a balanced diet is a way to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
“Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of exercise, and not smoking all contribute to good heart health, which in turn helps protect our brains from diseases that lead to cognitive impairment or dementia.
“Taking control of our diet and physical activity throughout our lives is a critical step toward better brain health later in life.”
The results were published in the journal Neurology.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/tea-wine-and-veg-the-key-to-preventing-dementia/ Tea, wine and vegetables: the key to preventing dementia