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Adding colour to your plate may lower risk of cognitive decline

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Adding colour to your plate may lower risk of cognitive decline

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A new study shows that people who eat a diet that includes at least half a serving per day of foods high in flavonoids like strawberries, oranges, peppers and apples may have a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline. 

Published: July 29, 2021

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds found in plants and are considered powerful antioxidants. It is thought that having too few antioxidants may play a role in cognitive decline as you age.

The group of highest flavonoid consumers had 20% less risk of self-reported cognitive decline than the people in the lowest group.

Researchers also looked at individual flavonoids. Flavones, found in some spices and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables, had the strongest protective qualities, and were associated with a 38% reduction in risk of cognitive decline, which is the equivalent of being three to four years younger in age. Anthocyanins, found in blueberries, blackberries and cherries, were associated with a 24% reduced risk of cognitive decline. 


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Materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Content may be edited for style and length.

  1. Tian-Shin Yeh, Changzheng Yuan, Alberto Ascherio, Bernard Rosner, Walter Willett, Deborah Blacker. Long-term Dietary Flavonoid Intake and Subjective Cognitive Decline in US Men and Women. Neurology, 2021; 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012454 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012454


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