An antioxidant found in nearly all fruits and vegetables as well as in tea may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published this week in the journal Neurology.
Study participants who consumed the most flavonol-containing foods over a six-year period were 48% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s dementia than participants who consumed the least, said Thomas M. Holland, M.D., from Rush University, Chicago.
The findings held even after adjusting for genetic predisposition and demographic and lifestyle factors, the authors reported.
Flavonols are a phytonutrient found in plant pigments and are known for beneficial effects on health, said the researchers. Among flavonol-containing foods found to be most protective in the study were kale, beans, tea, spinach and broccoli. Others included wine, oranges, tomatoes and apples.
The results suggest that eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea could be a “fairly inexpensive and easy way for people to help stave off Alzheimer’s dementia,” Holland concluded.