New research shows that eating vegetables, not fruit, helps keep us mentally alert as we age, BUT another study shows that eating strawberries is good for our memory.
In determining whether there was an association between eating vegetables and fruit and cognitive decline, researchers studied 3,718 residents in Chicago, Illinois, who were age 65 and older. Researcher Martha Clare Morris says, "Compared to people who consumed less than one serving of vegetables a day, people who ate at least 2.8 servings of vegetables a day saw their rate of cognitive change slow by roughly 40%. This decrease is equivalent to about five years of younger age."
Of the different types of vegetables consumed by participants, green leafy vegetables seemed to have the greatest effect. Surprisingly, the study found fruit consumption was not associated with cognitive change.
BUT researchers have found that fisetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid commonly found in strawberries and other fruits and vegetables, stimulates signaling pathways that enhance long-term memory. Roughly one third of people age 60 and over suffer from memory problems. Researcher Pamela Maher says that scientists are searching for "a safe drug that activates memory-associated pathways and enhances memory." Besides strawberries, fisetin is found in tomatoes, onions, oranges, apples, peaches, grapes, kiwifruit and persimmons. While eating strawberries sounds like a delicious way to protect your brain, it would take about 10 pounds a day to achieve a beneficial effect, which might prove too much even for the most avid strawberry lovers.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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