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Drink Orange Juice, Escape Dementia by 50 Percent?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

The Deccan Chronicle is reporting that a Harvard University study found that drinking a small glass of orange juice every day may help decrease your risk of dementia by 47 percent. The data is a result of a questionnaire that 28,000 study participants answered every four years over 20 years. Researchers concluded that a healthy diet of veggies, fruits and that glass of orange juice “may” be beneficial for cognitive function.

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There are so many ifs in this report that I’d be remiss in not stating that, first, this is a study based on the participants’ memories of what they ate over four years; and, second, that the fact that those who ate healthier lived longer would be a given, anyway. So, that said, what is a good take-away from this study?

The answer is if you want to decrease your risk for dementia, a healthy diet is definitely the way to go. But before we talk about the best foods to eat for an anti-dementia diet, let’s talk about that juice. Oranges are good. Juice made from fresh oranges is good.

But, when you go to the store and grab that bottle of juice off the shelf, you need to remember that even those labeled “100 percent pure juice” still come with the natural fructose that all oranges contain — and, unless you stick to a 6-ounce glass (about the amount you’d get from a single large orange) you’re going to be consuming a lot more fructose than you should.

So, the caveat would be to enjoy your orange or the pure juice, but keep it to the equivalent of one orange a day. From there, it’s important to remember that previous studies have already established a link between sugar consumption and your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease is intricately connected to insulin resistance; even mild elevation of blood sugar is associated with an elevated risk of dementia.

Since we also know that even mild insulin resistance speeds cognitive decline, the best advice for slowing that process down would be to reduce, with the goal of eliminating, refined sugars and processed foods (which contain hidden added sugars) from your diet.

Next, the more you eat a diet based on whole, healthy foods, the more your brainpower will soar, even to the point of staving off age-related cognitive decline and other brain disorders. To that end, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower and dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, go a long way toward warding off dementia.

Pastured, organic eggs — particularly the yolks — and fish such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies will work wonders for your brainpower too. If you need more proof, studies show that consuming healthy once a week or more is even linked to a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared with rarely or never consuming it.

If you need help in knowing how to make dietary changes that are key to preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia, why not try a ketogenic diet, which calls for minimizing carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats and adequate (moderate amounts) of high-quality protein?

Coupled with an exercise or regular activity program that gets you up out of your chair and moving, you’ll have a great recipe for staving off dementia symptoms, juice or no juice.

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