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Men who eat leafy greens, dark orange and red vegetables, berries and drink orange juice may be at a lower risk of developing memory loss in older age, according to a study
The findings showed that men 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 later.
Men who consumed the most vegetables were 34 per cent less likely to develop poor thinking skills than the men who consumed the least amount of vegetables.
Men who drank orange juice every day were 47 per cent 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, the researchers found.
"One of the most important factors in this study is that we were able to research and track such a large group of men over a 20-year period of time, allowing for very telling results," said Changzheng Yuan from Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
"Our studies provide further evidence dietary choices can be important to maintain your brain health," Yuan added.
The study, published in the journal Neurology, looked at 27,842 men with an average age of 51 who were all health professionals.
Participants also took 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.
A total of 55 per cent of the participants had good thinking and memory skills, 38 per cent had moderate skills, and seven per cent had poor thinking and memory skills.
However, the study does not show that eating fruits and vegetables and drinking orange juice reduces memory loss; it only shows a relationship between them, the researchers noted.