5 foods that may protect cognitive function in men

In November 2018, researchers at Harvard University in the United States published a study in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology, showing a connection between memory in men and consuming fruits and vegetables.

The researchers collected 5 food frequency questionnaires from nearly 28,000 men (with a mean age of 51 years) every 4 years over a 14-year period. As well, they assessed the subjective cognitive function of the participants twice during the same period.

What they discovered was that those who consumed more vegetables, fruits, and fruit juices had lower odds of having poor—or even moderate—subjective cognitive function.

In fact, participants who ate at least 6 servings of vegetables a day were 34% less likely to develop poor thinking skills than those who ate only 2 servings per day. As well, those who drank orange juice daily were 47% less likely to develop poor thinking skills than those who drank it only monthly.

As well, long-term eating habits seem to make a difference, given that participants who consumed lots of vegetables and fruits 20 years before the cognitive function test were less likely to develop thinking and memory problems. Even if they hadn’t eaten them frequently leading up to the test.

So, were there any foods that helped more than others to stave off cognitive decline? Well, there were 5 actually:

  • Leafy greens
  • Orange vegetables
  • Red vegetables
  • Berries
  • Orange juice

This is one more study in a growing body of research showing a connection between what we eat and our mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.