Higher consumption of fruits, vegetables and 100% juice is not only good for your body, but it can also help keep your brain sharp, too. A recent study published in Neurology found that older men who ate vegetables, fruits and fruit juices daily over a long period of time had lower risk of cognitive decline and memory loss.
The research was conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and examined the diets of more than 27,800 male health professionals (average age 51 years) over a 22-year period. Dietary assessments were administered every four years from 1986 to 2002 and then followed by questionnaires to evaluate subjective cognitive function (SCF), a validated meta-cognition measure, in 2008 and 2012.
After controlling for non-dietary factors and total energy intake, researchers concluded that men who ate more fruits, vegetables and fruit juice when they were in their 50s and 60s had lower odds of both moderate and poor cognitive function later in life. The foods which showed the strongest association to lower risk of cognitive decline were leafy greens, carotenoid-rich vegetables, berries and fruit juice. In the fruit juice category, orange juice, a major source of carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin, was the main contributor to this association. This study supports other research which shows that regular daily consumption of orange juice may have a protective effect on brain function and can reduce the risk for poor subjective cognitive function.
Although more research on women and the general population needs to be done, it’s still a good idea to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and juices into your diet. Try grabbing a glass of 100% juice. In addition to potential brain benefits, 100% juice can support other aspects of your health. To learn more about the nutritional value of your favorite juices, check out our Juice Varieties page. For more information on the important nutrients found in 100% juice, visit our Vitamins & Minerals page.