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Veggies for the Brain

Over the past few years, researchers have been determined to find out positive ways to impact brain health. In a recent study published online in November, 2018, researchers wanted to find out if eating fruits and vegetables and drinking juices could impact memory.

It took researchers 20 years to collect the data of 27,842 men whose mean age was 51 years old. When all of the data was collected and analyzed, they learned that subjective cognitive function improved for those who ate vegetables. Fruits had a positive affect as well but the impact was weaker than vegetables. Drinking orange juice everyday also showed an improvement. The catch is this, the men who showed improvement ate fruits and vegetables, and drank juice over an 18 – 22-year period. This means that fruits and vegetables were a part of their daily food intake. (1)

So, in a nutshell, this research reports that eating fruits, vegetables and drinking juices over a lifetime, may help with memory in men.

So how do men reap these possible benefits? Adding fruits and a little juice is pretty easy. But how do we fit fresh vegetables into a busy lifestyle? One of the fastest ways is to purchase a variety of vegetables and prepare them in bulk. Wash them, remove any unwanted portions such as removing the husk from corn; then cut them into serving sizes. Next, bag them in freezer bags and freeze the vegetables in portions. When it is time to prepare them, grab a bag out of the freezer, add a little oil and seasonings to the bag. Close the bag and toss the vegetables. Then spread them on a pre-oiled cookie sheet. Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 – 30 minutes, depending upon the vegetables. Don’t forget to flip the vegetables over so that they are cooked on both sides. With little effort, fresh vegetables can be a favorite at mealtime.

What are some of the favorite oven roasted veggies? Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, white potatoes, onions, zucchini, various squashes such as pumpkin and butternut squash, and beets are some of my family’s favorites. Eat and enjoy!

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

References:
1. Yuan C, et al. Long-term intake of vegetables and fruits and subjective cognitive function in US men. First published November 21, 2018, DOI: n.neurology.org/content/92/1/e63
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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, R.D.

is a dietitian in Southern California.

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