Drinking orange juice regularly is linked to a 47% lower risk of memory problems with age, new research suggests.
Berry fruits, orange and red vegetables and leafy greens may also help protect against memory loss.
The results come from a study that followed 27,842 men for 20 years.
Every four years they were asked about the foods they ate and were given tests of their memory and thinking skills.
They were also asked questions including:
- “Do you have more trouble than usual remembering a short list of items, such as a shopping list?”
- “Do you have more trouble than usual following a group conversation or a plot in a TV program due to your memory?”
Those that had six servings of fruit and vegetables a day were 34% less likely to experience poor thinking skills later on.
Eating more fruit and vegetables in midlife was linked to better cognitive health later on — even if the men stopped eating fruit and vegetables.
Dr Changzheng Yuan, study co-author, said:
“One of the most important factors in this study is that we were able to research and track such a large group of men over a 20-year period of time, allowing for very telling results.
Our studies provide further evidence dietary choices can be important to maintain your brain health.”
The study only showed an association, it does not prove causation.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Neurology (Yuan et al., 2018).