The People's Perspective on Medicine

Men Who Love Veggies Have Better Memory

The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study showed that men who usually eat six servings or so of vegetables daily have better memory and cognitive ability.

Men who want to maintain better memory do well to load their plates with colorful vegetables and berries. Harvard researchers have been following more than 25,000 male health professionals for at least 20 years. Every four years, the men answer questions about their diets and health every few years (Neurology, Nov. 21, 2018). Those who love veggies appear to maintain better cognitive function over the decades.

What the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study Shows About Memory:

The men were about 50 when the study began; as it ended, their average age was 73. By the end of the study, about 55 percent of the volunteers had better memory and cognitive ability. About 38 percent tested out as average, and 7 percent had impaired memory and ability to think. The men who had habitually eaten the most vegetables, about six servings a day, were 34 percent less likely than those who ate the least vegetables to have experienced cognitive decline.

Hooray for OJ:

Orange juice drinkers were also protected: those who drank it every day were 47 percent less likely to have impaired cognition than those who drank it just once a month or less. That’s a relative risk. The difference in absolute terms is 6.9 percent of OJ lovers losing mental acuity compared to 8.4 percent of those who didn’t usually drink juice.

This study shows an association rather than a cause-and-effect relationship. Nonetheless, the results suggest that it might be smart to eat your vegetables. (Isn’t that what your grandmother told you?)

The authors of the study conclude:

“Our findings support a long-term beneficial role of vegetable, fruit, and orange juice consumption on SCF [subjective cognitive function].”

Learn More:

If you would like to eat more vegetables and berries but are unsure how to fix them or fit them into your diet, you may be interested in one of our books. Both The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies and Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy offer delicious, highly nutritious ways to cook veggies (and a blueberry smoothie recipe that is super simple). On Black Friday only, all our books, health guides and CD/book combos are 40% off, so don’t delay.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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