Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables has long been linked with good health. Adding to it, a latest study has found that increased servings of fruits and vegetables could significantly be associated with a reduced cognitive impairment in adults aged 70 or older. In addition, those consuming three or more servings of vegetables everyday seemed to have a 30 percent lesser risk of death from heart disease.
For the purpose of the study, the authors were noted to have examined data from the second national Longitudinal Study of Aging. This longitudinal study was known to be the biggest national study of community-dwelling adults aged 70 years or older at the time of participation in 1994 and 1996.
The authors further analyzed participants’ diet behaviors and cognitive function, assessed via global cognitive function score with regard to the likelihood of mortality at the end of the follow-up in December 2002. Of the 9,447 total participants, 4,879 participants that included 1,778 males and 3,101 females appear to have completed the cognitive function measure.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, a professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health said that, “The study highlights that an increase in vegetable intake and better cognitive function has significant effects on the reduction of death from heart disease, as well as death from all causes in older adults. Basically, this shows that even as an older adult, you should still eat your vegetables.”
Within an average seven-year follow-up, approximately 1,286 participants died. Moreover, males seemed to have a 30 percent mortality rate which was considerably higher as compared to the 24 percent mortality rate for females. The findings of the study revealed that better servings of fruits and vegetables seemed to have been significantly associated with decreased occurrence rates of cognitive impairment.
Additionally, the study indicated that participants who ate three or more servings of vegetables each day appeared to have a 30 percent lower risk of death from heart disease. Furthermore, it was observed that there was a 15 percent lower risk of death from all causes in contrast to those who had less than three servings of vegetables per day.
The authors also found that those with a worldwide cognitive function score of less than 12, defined as cognitive impairment, of those who were in the first quartile of scores seemed to have a 55 percent higher risk of death from heart disease. More so, there appears to have been a 51 percent higher all-cause mortality rate to those with a global cognitive function score higher than 12.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal, Circulation.