Memory loss is one of the most common cognitive impairments experienced by people over the age of 65. While many of the correlates have yet to be determined, diet seems to be the best way to temper degenerative processes. And a new study finds, it could simply come down to a bowl of cereal.
Researchers at the Sydney University of Technology recently disclosed the utility of fruits, vegetables, and grain-rich cereal in our ongoing battle against age-associated decline.
In their longitude analysis of 139,000 participants, published in the International Journal of Public Health, an association between food groups, memory loss and comorbid heart disease and diabetes (both Type 1 and 2) were successfully established.
“The dietary intervention in chronic disease prevention and management, by taking into consideration the fact that older populations often simultaneously deal with multiple chronic conditions, is a real challenge,” explained study co-author, Dr. Xiaoyue Xu in a press statement. “To achieve the best outcome for our aging population, strong scientific evidence that supports effective dietary intervention in preventing and managing co-occurring chronic conditions is essential.”
Eating and healthy aging
At any age, consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods was determined to significantly boost memory and improve mechanical performance on the day to day. Sadly, elderly individuals are especially susceptible to a host of maladies alongside gradual cognitive decline.
Aging causes our blood vessels to stiffen which increases our risk for cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, increasing insulin resistance and compromised pancreatic islet function surge’s our chances for developing diabetes as we enter our fifties.
With these considerations in mind, the researchers sought to distinguish the preemptive value of food groups respective to individuals already advanced in age. The distinction survived on daily application. Among octogenarians, habitually enjoying a bowl of cereal prevented the onset of memory loss and comorbid heart disease.
“High consumption of fruit, vegetable and protein-rich food associated with lower odds of memory loss. High consumption of fruit and vegetables also associated with lower odds of comorbid heart disease (p ≤ 0.001). People who aged ≥ 80 years with low consumption of cereals had the highest odds of memory loss and comorbid heart disease than people in other age groups,” the authors explained in the new paper.
Of course, the kind of cereal further influenced these outcomes. The preemptive benefits had to do with wheat, corn, and oats. Not only do these cereal varieties provide our daily recommended value of fiber, vitamin E and omega-3s, they also contribute to enhanced blood flow which reduces our risk for heart disease.
Even in the short term, previously conducted studies have shown that consuming a bowl of cereal a day improves performance throughout the week and decreases the risk of concentration deficit. The authors of the new report emphasize the need for dietary balance irrespective of age. While adhering to nutritional guidelines becomes more and more material as we age, boosting longevity is achieved via long established wellness habits.
“The results highlighted the longitudinal association of fruit and vegetable in relation to memory loss and comorbid heart disease. Age effects on cereals consumption which have an influence on memory loss and comorbid heart disease,” the report concludes.
The new study, titled, Eating and healthy ageing: a longitudinal study on the association between food consumption, memory loss and its comorbidities and was co-authored by Xiaoyue Xu, Mabel Ling, Sally C. Inglis, Louise Hickman and Deborah Parker