Improve Brain Function by Eating Plants

Brains Function Best on Plant Foods

Eating fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can dramatically improve brain function and reduce the risk of suffering from dementia. These were the findings of a 2017 study published in the journal of Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. A team of Chinese researchers studied the dietary data of 31,004 subjects and compared the cognitive function and dementia odds ratio of the participants in this study. At the end of the study, subjects who consumed 100 grams of fruits and vegetables per day experienced a 13% reduction in the risk of suffering cognitive impairment and dementia.

Several other epidemiologic and animal studies have provided evidence that show that eating fruits and vegetables enhanced brain function. The results of a 2012 study revealed that individuals who regularly consumed generous portions of fruits and vegetables performed better in cognitive tests than persons who rarely consumed or completely avoid fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, frequent consumers of fruits and vegetables were found to have less chance of suffering from cognitive impairment and dementia in this study. Another study conducted by a team of investigators from Germany showed that generous intake of vegetables can substantially reduce the chances of suffering from dementia and age-associated cognitive decline.

The human brain is extremely susceptible to free radical induced oxidative damage. Excess free radicals can cause damage to brain neurons via oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of brain conditions, such as Alzheimer disease, dementia, and cognitive impairment. The harmful effects of free radicals can be neutralized by antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds found in plant-foods that can help mop up excess free radicals in the body. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Increased intake of fruits and vegetables packed with antioxidants is associated with decreased risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.

Fruits and vegetables should be a major part of every healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that help to improve health, increase energy levels, protect against several chronic diseases, and keep the brain sharp for years to come. A whole-food plant-based, oil-free diet rich in produce lowers risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.

Additional Information:

(1) Increased Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables Is Related to a Reduced Risk of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: Meta-Analysis

(2) Fruits, Vegetables, and Prevention of Cognitive Decline or Dementia: a Systematic Review of Cohort Studies.

(3) IANA Task Force on Nutrition and Cognitive Decline With Aging

(4) Health Benefits of Vegetables and Fruits

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