BY CHRISTA SGOBBA
Your newest brain booster might be in your fruit bowl: People who eat citrus fruit frequently may be less likely to get dementia, a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition found.
In the study of more than 13,000 elderly Japanese adults, the researchers discovered that those who reported eating citrus fruit almost every day were 23 percent less likely to develop dementia after a nearly six-year follow up than those who consumed the produce two or fewer times a week.
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Even after the researchers accounted for other potentially-skewing factors—like consumption of total vegetables and other fruits, as well as chronic health conditions—the relationship between citrus fruit consumption and dementia didn’t change significantly. That suggests the link would be difficult to explain by these possible confounding factors, they say in the study.
So there may be something in the citrus that’s protecting your brain. In the area where the study was performed, mandarin oranges were the most commonly-eaten fruit. The tissue and juice of these fruits contain a number of specific flavonoids, which may protect the neurons in your brain through their anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers hypothesise.
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Still, the researchers believe further research is necessary in other populations and settings to confirm the findings.
And if you’re wary on eating up because you’re worried about your waistline, don’t be: Fruit’s fibre protects against the blood sugar spike that usually comes with sugary carbs, says Men’s Health nutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D. Pair it with protein—say, an orange with some string cheese—to increase your satiety even more.