Eating plentiful plant-based whole foods has been linked to a reduced risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia among the elderly. This is according to a new study that looked at the health impacts of diets.
The University of Barcelona undertook the study and found that high intakes of plant-based whole foods may help prevent age-related cognitive problems.
What is cognitive impairment?
People with cognitive impairments can have trouble concentrating, remembering details, or learning new things. It can also affect day-to-day decision-making.
While there are treatments to assist with impairments, not all can be reversed or improved. Alzheimer’s is one example.
Health professionals advise that identifying the cause and catching cognitive impairment at an early stage is beneficial.
But now, according to the study’s authors, a strategy to combat it could be as simple as making dietary changes.
Upon assessing samples over a 12 year period, researchers assessed the prevalence of cognitive impairments across 842 participants.
As author Cristina Andrés-Lacueva explains: “A higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods provides polyphenols and other bioactive compounds that could help reduce the risk of cognitive decline due to aging.”
The relationship between eating plant-based whole foods and cognitive impairment is “essential,” another author notes.
Mireia Urpí-Sardà, another author, adds: “What we analyzed in the cohorts under study is the modulating role of the diet in the risk of suffering cognitive impairment.”
Plant-based whole foods
This is far from the first study to outline the benefits of plant-based whole foods on human health.
There have also been many key studies on how plant-based diets of this sort may help reduce the chances of developing heart disease.