A recent issue of the Neurology journal reports that a diet rich in fish, omega-3 oils, fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of dementia. During the study, researchers examined the diets of 8,000 men and women over the age of 65 who did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. After four years of follow-up, 183 of the participants developed Alzheimer's disease and 98 developed another type of dementia. Researchers found that people who regularly ate omega-3 fish oils, found in some cooking oils and certain types of fish, reduced their risk of dementia by 60 percent over the four year follow up period compared to those who did not. People who ate fruits and vegetables daily also reduced their risk of dementia by 30 percent compared to others who did not.
A second study examined the effects of beta-carotene supplements over the course of 18 years. Beta-carotine is a chemical that give carrots their color and is believed to have anti-oxidant properties. Researchers observed 4,000 volunteers who took either a beta-carotene pill or a "placebo" pill with no active ingredients on alternating days.
The volunteers who took the beta-carotene pill scored significantly higher on verbal memory tests than the placebo group. Many experts suggest that anti-oxidants can slow down damage to the body's cells- which can naturally accumulate over a person's lifetime.