During the study, researchers found that subjects with a high daily intake of fruits and vegetables had elevated antioxidant levels, lower indicators of free radical damage against lipids, in addition to better cognitive performance compared to health subjects of any age consuming low amounts of fruits and vegetables. To prevent cognitive impairment, researchers recommend modifying nutritional habits to increase intake of fruits and vegetables.
Dr. M Cristina Polidori of Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany explains, “It is known that there is a strong association between fruit and vegetable intake and the natural antioxidant defenses of the body against free radicals. It is also known that bad nutritional habits increase the risk of developing cognitive impairment with and without dementia.”
She continues by saying, “With this work we show a multiple link between fruit and vegetable intake, antioxidant defenses and cognitive performance, in the absence of disease and independent of age. Among other lifestyle habits, it is recommended to improve nutrition in general and fruit and vegetable intake in particular at any age, beginning as early as possible. This may increase our chances to remain free of dementia in advanced age.”
The findings found were independent of age, gender, body mass index, education level, and lipid profile – all known factors able to influence cognitive and antioxidant status. The findings are validated even further in light of the large sample that included 193 healthy subjects.