Individuals who ate 600 milligrams (0.02 ounces) of flavonoids daily lowered their risk of cognitive decline 20% more than people who ate 150 milligrams (0.005 ounces) of flavonoids. To put it into perspective, 100 grams of strawberries contains 180 milligrams of flavonoids. The same amount of apples has just 113 milligrams.
Flavonoids are compounds with “strong antioxidant abilities” usually found in produce. Cognitive decline is closely linked to the blood supply to the brain. Flavonoids’ anti-inflammatory properties contribute to functioning blood supplies in our body. Cognitive decline can be serious and may lead to dementia and Alzheimers.
The study, conducted by Dr. Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and medicine at Harvard University, lasted nearly 25 years and involved around 75,000 participants. The participants began the study in their fifties.
Cognitive decline is slow and subtle. Willett assessed his participants with questions like “Do you have more trouble than usual remembering a shortlist of items, such as a shopping list?” and “Do you have trouble remembering things from one second to the next?”
While people’s brain functions start to decline as early as in their 20s, it usually doesn’t become noticeable until their 70s. Consuming more flavonoids could help “make the downward slope less steep.”
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