We keep hearing about the benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables – they’re packed with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. They’ve been linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, even certain cancers.
Now there’s yet another reason to boost your intake: Eating more fruit and vegetables – especially fruit – can protect your memory as you age.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 2,500 healthy people, aged 45 to 60 for 13 years. People with a higher daily consumption of fruit and vegetables performed better on verbal memory tests than those who consumed less. High consumers ate, on average, eight daily servings of fruit and vegetables combined.
Here’s something really interesting – when the researchers looked at vegetables separately, they found no relationship between a high intake and memory. According to these findings, fruit has a stronger impact on mental prowess than vegetables. The researchers figure it’s possible that antioxidants are better preserved in fruit than vegetables, which are often cooked.
That’s good to know but dietitians say it’s no reason to downplay vegetables in your diet.