Consuming Orange Juice, Leafy Greens, and Berries Is Related to Less Memory Loss in Men


A study published in Neurology states that eating leafy greens, dark orange and red vegetables, and berry fruits, and drinking orange juice is related to less memory loss in men. 

The research evaluated 27,842 male health professionals with an average age of 51. At the outset of the study, subjects filled out questionnaires about the servings of fruits, vegetables and other foods they had each day. They kept records of their diets for 20 years. 

Participants also took subjective tests of their cognitive skills 4 years before the end of the study, when they were an average age of 73. Changes in memory reported by subjects were considered precursors to mild cognitive impairment.

The participants were divided into 5 groups based on fruit and vegetable consumption. The group that consumed the most vegetables ate 6 servings per day, compared to 2 servings for the lowest group. For fruits, the top group ate 3 servings per day, compared to half a serving for the lowest group.

The men who consumed the most vegetables were 34% less likely to develop poor cognitive skills than the men who consumed the least. A total of 6.6% of men in the top group developed poor cognitive function, compared to 7.9% in the lowest group.

The men who drank orange juice every day were 47% less likely to develop poor cognitive skills than those who drank less than 1 serving per month. A total of 6.9% of men who drank orange juice every day developed poor cognitive function, compared to 8.4% percent of those who drank less than one serving. 

Those who ate the most fruit every day were less likely to develop poor cognitive skills, but that association was weakened when researchers adjusted for dietary factors that could affect the results, such as consumption of vegetables, fruit juice, refined grains, legumes, and dairy products.

The study does not show that eating fruits and vegetables and drinking orange juice reduces memory loss; it only shows a relationship between them. “One of the most important factors in this study is that we were able to research and track such a large group of men over a 20-year period of time, allowing for very telling results,” said study author Changzheng Yuan, ScD, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “Our studies provide further evidence that dietary choices can be important to maintain your brain health.”


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