Multiple studies have documented that part of aging is due to the cell damage caused by “free radicals” and other byproducts of oxidation—the same oxygen-based process that turns fruit brown. Foods that contain antioxidants, nutrients that protect against this damage, are highly recommended—notably fruits and vegetables, and the brighter the color the better. Recently researchers from Germany, Italy and the US investigated the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake, plasma antioxidant micronutrient levels and cognitive performance in healthy people from 45 to 102 years old. They found that a high daily intake of fruits and vegetables—400 grams or about one pound—translates to higher cognitive performance. Their results, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showed that compared to otherwise healthy subjects who ate less than 4 ounces of fruits and vegetables a day, people with the higher daily intake had higher antioxidant levels, lower indicators of free radical-induced damage against lipids and better cognitive performance. For more details on the study see the September 15 issue of the Parentgiving.com Newsletter.
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