Need another reminder to eat your fruits and vegetables? Doing so might lower your risk of memory loss, according to a study published online Nov. 21, 2018, by Neurology. The study looked at almost 28,000 men, average age 51, who filled out questionnaires every four years for 20 years about how many servings of fruits, vegetables, and other foods they ate each day. The participants also took tests of their thinking and memory skills at least four years before the end of the study, when the average age was 73.
The researchers found that men who consumed the most daily servings of vegetables and fruit (six or more servings) were less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who consumed the fewest (about two daily servings or less). A serving of fruit was defined as a cup of whole fruit or half a cup of fruit juice. A serving of vegetables was a cup of raw vegetables or two cups of leafy greens.
The connection? Scientists speculated that the antioxidants and bioactive substances — such as vitamins A, B, C, and E; carotenoids; flavonoids; and polyphenols — found in fruit and vegetables may reduce brain oxidative stress, which in effect may prevent age-related brain dysfunction like memory loss.