When it comes to making sure you’re eating a good diet, you may find yourself focusing on things like how many calories you’re taking in to control your weight or what health-promoting nutrients are in the food. that you choose to eat.
At the same time, you may not be as focused on whether or not you provide antioxidants in your meals. However, that’s something you may want to start doing since: Eating foods rich in antioxidants may help prevent dementia, according to a new study†
Recently published by the Neurology magazine, the study saw 7,283 participants ages 45 or older undergo interviews and tests to determine the level of antioxidants in their blood. After an average of 16 years, the researchers found that those with higher levels of antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin in their blood, were better able to avoid dementia.
“I’m not surprised by the findings, because people who eat more antioxidants are generally healthier,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Ffinally full, finally slimnutritionist in private practice and adjunct professor at NYU, tells: Eat this, not that!† In this case, Young explains that “antioxidants help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause damage to cells and ultimately cognitive decline.”
To make sure you get the benefits of antioxidants, Young suggests eating foods like fruits and vegetables, including “green, leafy” options like kale and spinach, which contain both lutein and zeaxanthin.
Young adds that you should “vary your color” for the best results. Young points out that the study’s findings are “another reason to eat more colorful products!”
To learn more about adding antioxidants to your diet, read 15 Most Antioxidant-Packed Fruits & Veggies-Ranked!.
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, diet and nutrition news, among other things. read more