And according to researchers at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans and other foods that have “anti-inflammatory” properties reduces the risk of developing dementia with age.
The researchers pointed out that a lot of inflammatory foods “pastries, fried foods, foods and drinks rich in sugar”, makes us vulnerable to memory loss and a decline in thinking, language and problem-solving skills, at a rate of three times compared to those who do not eat these foods.
“Diet may affect brain health through many mechanisms, and according to our results, inflammation may be one of these,” explained lead study author Dr.
In the study, the results of which were published in the Journal of Neuroscience, more than 1,000 people in Greece (average age of 73) completed a questionnaire to determine the impact of inflammation and their diet on their mental abilities.
When the study began, no one had dementia, but 6 percent developed the disease during a follow-up that lasted just over three years.
After evaluating their diet, the researchers found a link between inflammatory foods and a decline in intellectual skills, as any increase of one point in the score of food inflammation raised the risk of dementia by 21 percent.
In contrast, the people with the highest scores ate about 9 servings of fruits, 10 servings of vegetables, 2 legumes, and 9 servings of coffee or tea per week.
And Scarmis explained that the nutrients in food contribute to the possibility of inflammation, adding: “A diet that contains more fruits, vegetables, beans, tea or coffee is a more anti-inflammatory regime.”
He stressed the need for more research to know the mechanisms of the effect of diet on brain health, according to the UPI news agency.
Scarmis recommended a Mediterranean diet, based on lean meat, fish, whole grains, fresh produce and olive oil.