Can snack-time decisions today make a difference 20 years from now? A new study suggests they could.
Berries, apples, tea, and other high-flavonoid foods may help keep your brain younger for longer by reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other related diseases. A new study looked at the effect of these foods over 20 years.
Researchers from Tufts University discovered that a higher intake of flavonoid-rich foods translated to a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. To achieve their results, they followed 2,800 people aged 50-plus for 20 years.
Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and more. Common sources include apples, berries, onions, pears, tea, wine, and coffee. These compounds are associated with a host of benefits including lower inflammation.
Low-intake of three types of flavonoids was linked to a higher risk of dementia than those with a high intake. The three types examined were:
- Flavanols (apples, pears, tea)
- Anthocyanins (blueberries, strawberries, red wine)
- Polymers (apples, pear, tea)
When people didn’t eat much of these foods, the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s went way up. On the other hand, when they were regularly consumed, these conditions were far less likely to occur over 20 years.
High-intake was classified as about 7.5 cups of berries per month, 8 apples per month, or 19 cups of tea. On the other hand, eating no berries, one-and-a-half apples, and no tea was “low intake.”
So, if you want to slow down brain aging and reduce your chances of dementia, potentially prevent memory loss, and enjoy other benefits, including these plant-based foods into your daily routine could pay big dividends down the road.
Adding some berries to your oats, yogurt, or salad each day, snacking on an apple, and winding down in the evening with some decaffeinated tea can help you easily boost intake. Even coffee in the morning can boost flavonoid intake.
Start protecting your brain today by snacking on more antioxidant-rich foods.