As we age, changes occur in our brains – but cognitive decline is the gradual deterioration of brain function – in short, it doesn’t work as it used to.
But what is interesting is that oxidative stress is a strong candidate for causing age-related cognitive decline and as we know, oxidative stress results when our antioxidant defences aren’t quite up to the job!
A recent study has found a link between eating foods rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids and a significantly reduced risk of experiencing early signs of cognitive decline.
The study followed 49,493 women from 1984 to 2006 and 27,842 men from 1986 to 2002. For the women, their level of cognitive decline was measured between 2012 and 2014 and for the men, their level of cognitive decline was measured between 2009 and 2012.
The researchers concluded that higher intake of total flavonoids was associated with lower odds of cognitive decline.
But what is even more interesting is that certain flavonoids appeared to be more protective than others.
Flavones, a type of flavonoid found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables were associated with a 38% reduction in risk whereas anthocyanins which are present in blueberries, blackberries and cherries were associated with a 24% reduction in risk.
In addition, the researchers conclude that flavonoid supplements may also benefit cognitive performance.
What’s great is that they also state it’s never too late to start! Protective relationships were seen whether people were consuming the flavonoids in their diets 20 years ago or if they started incorporating them more recently.
So, what are you waiting for? Join the Fivaday Gang in including as many fruit and veg in your diet as possible, and if you’re struggling to hit the mark, head on over and grab your Fivaday!