We are living longer, so there are more people with mental illnesses like dementia. Researchers found that food can cut the chances of getting dementia. In particular, food with flavonoids could reduce the chances of getting dementia by a third. Flavonoids give fruit and vegetables their bright colours. They increase the amount of oxygen going to the brain. Produce such as blueberries, oranges, peppers and strawberries contain flavonoids. Dr Walter Willett from Harvard University said: "A colourful diet rich in flavonoids seems to be a good bet for promoting long-term brain health."
Dr Willett studied the eating habits and mental health of 77,000 middle-aged people for 20 years. He found that people who ate more flavonoids were less likely to show signs of cognitive decline. He said people who ate more flavonoid-rich food were 38 per cent less likely to get dementia. This means older people could feel up to four years younger. Dr Willett said: "Flavonoids are powerhouses when it comes to preventing your thinking skills from declining as you get older. Adding colour to your plate may lower the risk of cognitive decline."