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Get your ‘five a day’ to reduce dementia risk

Having at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day could help prevent dementia in older adults, new research suggests. 
five a day - dementia_tile_iStock.jpg

Having at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day could help prevent dementia in older adults, new research suggests.

During a six-year study, researchers in Hong Kong analysed the cognitive status of 17,700 older adults who were free of dementia.

They found that inadequate fruit consumption was associated with a higher risk of developing dementia, even after other relevant factors, including age, education and health-related behaviours such as smoking, were taken into account.

Cognitive maintenance

Adding three servings of vegetables to a persons daily diet further reduced the risk, the researchers said, adding that as well as highlighting the importance of consuming fruit and vegetables to prevent dementia among older people, the study findings provide some insight into the daily amount required for cognitive

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Having at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day could help prevent dementia in older adults, new research suggests. 


Eating more fruit lowers the risk of dementia, a study found. Picture: iStock

During a six-year study, researchers in Hong Kong analysed the cognitive status of 17,700 older adults who were free of dementia.

They found that inadequate fruit consumption was associated with a higher risk of developing dementia, even after other relevant factors, including age, education and health-related behaviours such as smoking, were taken into account. 

Cognitive maintenance 

Adding three servings of vegetables to a person’s daily diet further reduced the risk, the researchers said, adding that as well as highlighting the importance of consuming fruit and vegetables to prevent dementia among older people, the study findings provide some insight into the daily amount required for cognitive maintenance.

‘As a public health promotion strategy, the need for a balanced diet on cognitive health should be duly emphasised in the older population,’ the study authors said. 


Lee ATC et al (2017). Lower risk of incident dementia among Chinese older adults having three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits a day. Age and Ageing. doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afx018

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