(WNDU) – Women tend to live longer than men, but suffer from more diseases.
On average, females live to about 80 years old, while males live to 75.
Now, a new study reveals that certain colorful foods can make longer lives healthier. When it comes to debilitating diseases, the numbers of women are much higher than that of men.
“Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. are women,” said Sepi Shokoui, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The numbers are the same for patients with macular degeneration. And the fact that women live longer means they will have to live with these conditions longer. But a new study from the University of Georgia suggests that what women eat can make a difference.
“There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that healthy eating and medically prepared meals can significantly improve overall health outcomes,” said Richard Seidman, chief medical officer at LA Care Health Plan.
And the more colorful these dishes, the better.
People who ate high levels of foods high in pigmented carotenoids, such as potatoes, kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges and carrots, had a 40 percent lower risk of advanced macular degeneration. A study by the National Council on Aging found that the more you eat these foods, the lower your risk of dementia.
Following a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil is associated with higher cognitive functions.
“We don’t always pay attention to our diet. “We need to explore how nutrition affects the brain and eye,” said Emily Chew, director of the National Eye Institute’s Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Practice.
Researchers examined the effects of nine components of the Mediterranean diet on cognition.
The diet emphasized the consumption of whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and olive oil, as well as reducing the consumption of red meat and alcohol. Participants who adhered most to the Mediterranean diet had the lowest risk of cognitive impairment. High consumption of fish and vegetables appeared to have the greatest protective effect. At ten years, participants with the highest fish consumption had the slowest rate of cognitive decline.
A team led by University College London (UCL) researchers has used machine learning to estimate people’s brain age from MRI scans, identifying multiple risk factors for a premature aging brain.
They found that worse cardiovascular health at age 36 predicted a higher brain age later in life. A higher brain age was associated with slightly worse scores on cognitive tests, and increased brain shrinkage was predicted over the following two years. This suggested it could be an important clinical marker for people at risk of cognitive decline or other brain-related health problems. The researchers also found that higher brain age was associated with higher concentrations of neurofilament light protein (NfL) in the blood.
NfL elevation is thought to be due to nerve cell damage and is increasingly recognized as a useful marker of neurodegeneration.
“We hope this technique may one day be a useful tool for identifying people at risk of rapid aging so that early, targeted prevention strategies can be offered to improve brain health,” said Jonathan Schott, UCL Professor of Dementia. Research Center, UCL Queen Square Neurological Institute
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