Those who consume large amounts of carotenoids in spinach and kale, among others, are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study suggests.
The health of carotenoids has long been known and can reduce the risk of many diseases.
Carotenoids are dyes and antioxidants in vegetables, fruits and berries.
They are found in yellow, green, red and orange plants.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the 930 patients who participated in it were followed for seven years.
Participants did not have Alzheimer’s disease at the start of the study.
Based on the results, those who consumed the most carotenoids (average 25 mg per day) were almost half as likely to become ill as patients who had low levels of carotenoids in their diet (average 7 mg per day).
During the study, 500 patients died, and their autopsy data suggested the same.
Those who ate the most carotenoids during their lifetime had fewer changes in their brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Of the individual carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthan in particular were associated with a lower risk of disease.
Lutein is found in green vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Tseaxanthan is found in kale, among other things.
Carotenoids are also found in carrots and tomatoes, for example.