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Ever wondered why mom harped on you to eat your vegetables?  Obviously we know it is important to eat our fruits and veggies, but do you know just how beneficial this can be?  One recent study called the Memory and Aging Project was conducted at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and specifically examined if eating certain foods can reduce risk of developing Alzheimer dementia. 

Previous studies have determined that flavonoids lead to a variety of health perks. That’s because they have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  However, this recent study is the first of its kind to dig deeper and look at flavonols sub-classes such as kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and myricetin.  

So what do you eat to increase the intake of these flavonols?  There is a long list but most noted foods include kale, beans, broccoli, spinach, apples, oranges, pears, olive oil, and tomato sauce.  Drinking tea was also studied and was found to be protective against Alzheimer’s development. 

Now, take all this “with a grain of salt,” metaphorically, of course.  If you are not supposed to consume tea or some of the above listed foods, please follow the instructions of your healthcare provider as the foods may interfere with medications you are taking or affect your health negatively if you need to be on a strict diet. 

Adriane Arnold, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Nurse Practicioner for Atul T. Patel, MD

The study investigators report they cannot determine exactly why these food flavonols reduce Alzheimer’s risk or guarantee these results for all.  What it does support, though, is that eating your fruits and veggies can have the potential to make a really big positive difference, upwards of 50% risk reduction!  So, hopefully that will motivate you to eat your fruits and veggies with every meal possible.

Adriane Arnold, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Adriane Arnold, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Nurse Practicioner for Atul T. Patel, MD

Adriane has a special interest and experience in comprehensive musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation medicine with the goal of maximizing function and quality of life.  She also functions as a sub-investigator on several research studies geared toward patient populations seen in her clinic and the evaluation of future treatment options designed to improve patient outcomes compared to current standards.

References

Holland, T.M., Agarwal, P., Wang, Y., et al.  Dietary flavonols and risk of Alzheimer dementia. Neurology. Published online January 29, 2020. https://n.neurology.org/content/early/2020/01/29/WNL.0000000000008981.

McNamara, D., & Barclay, L. (2020). Can Eating Fruits and Veggies Lower Alzheimer’s Risk? Medscape. Released online March 13, 2020.