Flavonoid rich diet reduces mental decline

June 13, 2007 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Flavonoid rich diet reduces mental decline
According to French researchers, a diet rich in flavonoids from fruit, vegetables, coffee, tea and chocolate may slow the mental decline associated with age.

To research the effects of flavonoids and mental health, researchers from Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux in France recruited over 1,600 participants with an average age of 77 and assessed their diets.

During the course of the ten year study, researchers assessed the diets of participants four times.  Cognitive function was measured using three mental and visual tests.

After adjusting the results for confounding factors, such as age, sex and educational levels, researchers report that flavonoid intake was associated with better cognitive performance at the start of the study, and better evolution of mental performance over time.  High flavonoid intake was defined as between 13.6 and 36.9 milligrams per day.  To give you an idea of flavonoid content of foods, 100 grams of bluberries can have upwards of 500 mg of flavonoids, while 200 grams of broccoli can have up to 20 mg.

Rich sources of flavonoids include red, blue and purple berries, red and green grapes, red wine, tea, dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more), citrus fruits, kale and broccoli.

These latest findings were reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

 To view an extensive report from the USDA on flavoniod content of a variety of foods, please click here.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.