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A new study suggests that people who consume fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine are less susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder that affects memory and thinking.
Researchers found that people who had a higher intake of flavonoid-rich foods and drinks were less likely to develop memory problems than those who barely had any. Flavonoids are natural chemicals found in various fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, grapes, kale, and onions.
As inflammation has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other related diseases, the researchers theorized that the anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids can help keep the brain healthy.
Over the course of about 20 years, the researchers gathered data on the participants’ dietary habits. The researchers then determined the amount of flavonoids consumed by the participants based on what they listed.
The results revealed that participants with a low flavonoid intake did not eat berries or drink tea and only consumed 1 and a half apples for each month. Conversely, those with a high intake consumed around 7 and a half cups of berries, 8 apples, and almost 19 cups of tea every month.
Based on the researchers’ analysis, participants with the lowest consumption of apples and tea were at twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and those with the lowest intake of berries and wine were at four times the risk.
Author Paul Jacques emphasized the importance of a healthy diet for brain health. However, he explained that the change in diet required to prevent Alzheimer’s does not need to be drastic, since adding small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods to one’s meal can already make a difference.