Sydney: Researchers have found that high consumption of fruit and vegetables is linked to lowered odds of memory loss and its co-morbid heart disease.
For the study, published in the International Journal of Public Health, the researchers studied data from 1,39,000 older Australians and found strong links between certain food groups, memory loss and co-morbid heart disease or diabetes.
The study found that higher consumption of protein-rich foods was associated with a better memory.
“Our present study implies that the healthy eating suggestions of cereals consumption in the prevention of memory loss and co-morbid heart disease for older people may differ compared to other age groups,” said the study’s researcher Luna Xu from the University of Technology, Sydney, in Australia.
She said the study pointed to a need for age-specific healthy dietary guidelines.
Memory loss is one of the main early symptoms for people with dementia, which is the second leading cause of death of Australians.
People living with dementia have on average between two and eight co-morbid conditions, which may accelerate cognitive and functional impairment.
The most common comorbidities in dementia include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension.
“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,” Xu said.
“To achieve the best outcome for our ageing population, strong scientific evidence that supports effective dietary intervention in preventing and managing co-occurring chronic conditions, is essential,” Xu added.