When it comes to ensuring that you’re eating a proper diet, you might find yourself focusing on things like the number of calories you’re consuming in order to keep your weight in check or what health-boosting nutrients can be found in the food that you choose to eat.
At the same time, you might not be as focused on whether or not your meals offer you antioxidants. That is, however, something you may want to start doing considering the fact that eating foods that are rich in antioxidants may help to prevent dementia, according to a new study.
Published recently by the Neurology journal, the study saw 7,283 participants who were 45 years old 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 who had higher levels of antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin in their blood were better able to avoid dementia.
“I am not surprised by the findings, as people who eat more antioxidants are healthier overall,” 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 may cause damage to the cells and ultimately cognitive decline.”
To make sure that you’re benefitting from antioxidants, Young suggests eating foods like fruits and vegetables, including “green, leafy” options such as 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 produce!”
To find out more about adding antioxidants into your diet, be sure to read 15 Most Antioxidant-Packed Fruits & Veggies—Ranked!.
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more