Drinking orange juice helps sharpen your memory and is linked to the decreased rate of memory loss over time.
A new of its kind study published in the journal Neurology reports that eating leafy greens, dark orange, and red vegetables and berry fruits, and drinking orange juice may be associated with decreased risk of memory loss over time in men.
The study found that men who drank orange juice every day were 47 percent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who drank less than one serving per month.
The study included 27,842 male participants with an average age of 51 years who were all health professionals. Participants filled out questionnaires about how many servings of fruits, vegetables, and other foods they had each day at the beginning of the study and then every four years for 20 years. A serving of fruit is considered one cup of fruit or ½ cup of fruit juice. A serving of vegetables is considered one cup of raw vegetables or two cups of leafy greens.
Emphasizing the significance of consumption of orange, Speciality Medical Dialogues has earlier reported that regular inclusion of oranges in the diet reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration than people who do not.
The study participants were also given subjective tests of their thinking and memory skills at least four years before the end of the study when they were an average age of 73. The test was designed to detect changes that people can notice in how well they are remembering things before those changes would be detected by objective cognitive tests. Changes in memory reported by the participants would be considered precursors to mild cognitive impairment.
The study participants were divided into five groups based on their fruit and vegetable consumption. A total of 55 percent of the participants had good thinking and memory skills, 38 percent had moderate skills, and 7 percent had poor thinking and memory skills.
For vegetables, the highest group ate about six servings per day, compared to about two servings for the lowest group. For fruits, the top group ate about three servings per day, compared to half a serving for the bottom group.
The key study findings included are:
- Men who consumed the most vegetables were 34 percent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who consumed the least amount of vegetables.
- A total of 6.6 percent of men in the top group developed poor cognitive function, compared to 7.9 percent of men in the bottom group.
- The men who drank orange juice every day were 47 percent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who drank less than one serving per month. This association was mainly observed for regular consumption of orange juice among the oldest men.
- A total of 6.9 percent of men who drank orange juice every day developed poor cognitive function, compared to 8.4 percent of men who drank orange juice less than once a month.
- The men who ate the most fruit each day were less likely to develop poor thinking skills and memory loss, but that association was weakened after researchers adjusted for other dietary factors that could affect the results, such as consumption of vegetables, fruit juice, refined grains, legumes, and dairy products. The researchers also found that people who ate larger amounts of fruits and vegetables 20 years earlier were less likely to develop thinking and memory problems, whether or not they kept eating larger amounts of fruits and vegetables about six years before the memory test.
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