Gentlemen, you may want to up your intake of berries, tea, apples and eggplants as a recent study has found that a diet high in flavonoids can help protect against brain diseases like Parkinson’s.
Flavonoids are found in many plant-based foods and drinks with yellow, purple, orange and red skins such as eggplants, blackcurrants, blackberries, grapefruits and dark beans.
Over a 20-year period, researchers from Harvard University and the University of East Anglia in the UK followed 130,000 men and women, 800 of whom developed Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking, difficulty walking, movement and coordination. The disease most often develops after the age of 50.
After analyzing their diets, researchers found that men who ate the most flavonoids were shown to be 40 percent less likely to develop the disease than those who ate the least. The major sources of flavonoid-rich foods in the study included tea, berry fruits, apples, red wine, oranges and orange juice.
Interestingly, no such link was noticeable for the female participants.
The large-scale study was published April 4 in the journal Neurology and adds to the growing body of evidence that regular consumption of flavonoid-rich foods can offer a range of health benefits.
Other studies have also shown that the plant-based compounds can help protect against conditions like heart disease, hypertension, cancer and dementia.
Another study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association earlier this year found that the flavonoids in citrus fruits -– particularly oranges and grapefruits –- may lower a woman’s risk of stroke.