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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IMPROVE MEMORY
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in meat and other animal products, has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of those top two killers, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Now, a newly published public health study, from Norway, suggests eating your fruits and veggies may also be good for your brain, as well.
In this study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, 2,013 research volunteers between the ages of 70 and 74 underwent extensive cognitive testing and evaluation of their dietary habits.
Overall, memory and other higher cognitive functions were significantly improved among those patient volunteers who consumed the most fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and mushrooms. Among these foods, the frequent intake of both fruits and vegetables (up to 500 grams per day) was, specifically, linked to the highest level of cognitive function in these older men and women.
Further study of dietary preferences revealed that cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, among others), carrots, citrus fruits, and whole-grain breads were the foods most closely associated with improved cognitive function. (On the other hand, white bread consumption was associated with decreased levels of cognitive function!)
This interesting little study, therefore, suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (and cruciferous vegetables and carrots, in particular) may help to preserve memory, and other higher cognitive functions, in the aging brain. The findings of this study are especially interesting in view of the rapidly aging populations of many countries around the world, including the United States.
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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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