Did you know that when it comes to forgetfulness and brain health, a diet bursting with color could be your secret weapon?
A new Harvard study has found that a diet rich in flavonoids —the natural plant chemicals responsible for the bright and beautiful colors in fruits and vegetables—may actually help reduce forgetfulness and mild confusion, a common part of aging.
The U.S. based study looked at the diets of more than 77,000 men and women over 30 years of age; it found that those who ate the most flavonoids were 19% less likely to report trouble with memory and thinking, than those who ate the least flavonoids. To put it simply, they had healthier brains.
Many flavonoid-rich foods such as oranges, capsicum, celery, strawberries, grapefruits, citrus juices, apples, pears, and bananas helped to keep the brain sharp.
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and raw spinach got particularly high marks when it came to fighting off age-related forgetfulness. We’d say that’s a good reason to whip up a batch of crispy Brussels sprouts!
Eat the Rainbow
The study showed the benefits of eating a flavonoid-rich diet from an early age, especially before your 50s. Forgetfulness and confusion are frustrating realities for many older people.
Diet plays a big role in helping to age well and live well. Loading our plates with lots of colorful fruits and veggies is a tasty win/win. It is good for our memory, our brains, and it also helps prevent many lifestyle diseases. We should all be aiming to include at least two servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables in our diets each day. Don’t forget to mix it up!
Colorful fruits and veggies have more benefits than just brain health. For example, red fruits and vegetables can protect against cancer and help reduce the risk of heart disease. A high intake of lycopene, found in red fruits and vegetables, has also been linked with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Lutein, found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, corn, and lemons, has been shown to help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Color My World
Increasing the flavonoids in your diet each day is easy—and who doesn’t like a little color in their life?
So, why not try adding a rainbow fruit salad to this week’s menu, or a delicious, veggie-packed salad?