The surprising diet that can ward off dementia
The foods we eat could help us to prevent the onset of dementia, according to a recent study.
The new research shows that people with high levels of three key antioxidants in their blood are less likely to be diagnosed with the devastating disorder.
Two of the compounds — lutein and zeaxanthin — are abundant in leafy green vegetables, such as kale and peas.
The last antioxidant, beta-cryptoxanthin, is found in abundance in oranges and papayas.
Lead researcher Dr May Beydoun, an expert in ageing from the US National Institutes of Health, said, “Extending people's cognitive function is an important public health challenge.”
“Antioxidants may help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage.”
Scientists have long advocated that a healthy, balanced diet can help to ward off dementia by boosting heart and circulatory health – both of which are known to play a role in the disease.
As well as through diet, people can bolster their blood levels of the three compounds by taking supplements.
During the extensive study, the effect of antioxidants on dementia was reduced when other factors were taken into account, including education, income and physical activity.
“It's possible that those factors may help explain the relationship between antioxidant levels and dementia,” Dr Beydoun added.
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