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April 12, 2022 • Brain Health

Eating to Avoid Dementia

Did you know eating more fiber can help protect from dementia?

Healthy older couple eating to avoid dementia

That’s right–you can eat to avoid dementia. More fiber, less dementia! This was the encouraging conclusion of a new study measuring fiber intake and dementia status. 

For the study, scientists followed the fiber intake and dementia status of 3,739 adults aged 40-64 for a period of almost 20 years. 

The results? Study subjects consuming the most fiber were 26 percent less likely to develop dementia relative to those consuming the lowest amounts. 

What’s more, there was a direct dose response relationship with a progressive decrease in dementia risk and the consumption of more fiber. Of the two types of fiber, soluble fiber appeared to be the most protective. 

Regarding how fiber, especially soluble fiber, may benefit the brain, there are a host of potential mechanisms at play, including reducing brain inflammation via a healthier gut microbiome, as well as favorable changes to blood glucose and cholesterol levels. 

Here are the foods that provide the most soluble fiber:

  • Beans (any variety)
  • Peas
  • Barley
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Oats
  • Oat Bran
  • Avocado
  • Carrots
  • Collards
  • Oranges
  • Apples

Eating those foods regularly to help avoid dementia!

Nutritional Neuroscience, 2022; 1 DOI: 10.1080/1028415X.2022.2027592