Dementia is a condition that can come on in the later years of a person’s life, impacting their cognitive functions.
Thinking, remembering and reasoning can all be difficult for people with the condition .
Right now there is no cure for the condition, however there may be ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
The way in which you live your life can have a serious knock-on effect in your later years, and in particular, a good diet could reduce your risk of future health complications, the Mirror reports.
One food has recently been shown in a study to possibly reduce the risk of dementia, while also lowering cholesterol and improving memory.
The food in question is cranberries, which you can pick up from most supermarkets for just a few pounds.
The new study has revealed the power of cranberries and how a diet rich in these delicious fruits can help to improve memory and ward off the brain degenerative condition.
In the study, published in Science Direct, eating cranberries to improve memory and ward off dementia was analysed.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia investigated how adding cranberries to your diet could help with improved memory and brain function and also help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol.
The research team studied the benefits of consuming the equivalent of a cup of cranberries a day among 50 to 80-year-olds for a 12-week period.
Dementia risk, memory loss, brain function and cholesterol levels were all investigated by the team with the power of cranberries consumption.
The research is one of the first to examine cranberries and their long-term impact on cognition and brain health in humans.
Lead researcher Dr David Vauzour, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Past studies have shown that higher dietary flavonoid intake is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and dementia.
“Foods rich in anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which give berries their red, blue, or purple colour, have been found to improve cognition.
“Cranberries are rich in these micronutrients and have been recognised for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
“We wanted to find out more about how cranberries could help reduce age-related neurodegeneration.”
The study found that eating cranberries significantly improved the participants’ memory of everyday events (visual episodic memory), neural functioning and delivery of blood to the brain (brain perfusion).
“The findings of this study are very encouraging, especially considering that a relatively short 12-week cranberry intervention was able to produce significant improvements in memory and neural function,” added Dr Vauzour.
“This establishes an important foundation for future research in the area of cranberries and neurological health.”
They have a strong, positive effect on cognitive health.
Nuts and berries have also been linked to better brain health.
Blueberries and strawberries, in particular, help keep the brain working at its best and may slow symptoms linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
You can’t mention brain foods without giving acknowledgement to fatty fish.
Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a major building block of the brain.
Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against cognitive decline.
Early signs warning you may be at risk of dementia
According to the NHS, these symptoms may include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
- Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes
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