An orange a day may keep dementia at bay

You know that old saying about "an apple a day."

Of course, that's not the whole story. An apple on its own isn't enough to keep the doctor away -- especially if you're expecting it to offset all sorts of other bad eating habits.

Now, a new study out of Japan pinpoints another fruit that you should incorporate into your daily routine -- one that can save your precious memories.

And if you enjoy the taste of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, you're going to love the new findings.

Japanese researchers took more than 13,000 seniors and divided them into three groups of folks who ate a citrus fruit:

  1. every day,
  2. three to four times per week, or
  3. less than twice a week (which could also mean no citrus at all).

The researchers followed them over the course of five to seven years and discovered that the folks with a daily citrus habit were 23 percent LESS likely to develop dementia than those who ate citrus less than twice a week!

Now, this comes as no surprise to me, as citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. But that's not all...they're also practically dripping with flavonoids, which can slide right across the blood-brain barrier to deliver the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action that can reverse and repair any damage to your brain cells.

And that mechanism of "cleaning house" can protect you from dementia.

However, because this was an observational study, we don't actually know if it was the citrus itself that slashed dementia risk by a quarter -- or if it was because the overall eating and lifestyle habits of the citrus-eaters tended to be healthier than of those who ate little or no citrus.

In addition to getting more citrus in their diets, they also ate more fruit in general, more veggies, and more healthy proteins.

And that's because the best way to combat any and all of these cognitive problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. An excellent diet is truly the most important aspect of preventing most -- if not all -- health problems, including cognitive decline.

In fact, more and more research is linking a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease to blood sugar problems (such as diabetes) and potential blood sugar problems (such as metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance).

So, here we go again: Eliminate the sugar and refined carbohydrates! Make sure to eat several non-starchy vegetables and a wide array of colorful vegetables every day, too.

You want a varied palette on your plate because each color signals a di¬fferent group of nutrients that's necessary to good health.

It's also a good idea to "eat organic" as much as possible, since organically-raised foods have significantly more minerals and vitamins than commercially-grown varieties -- not to mention a much lower risk of being contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and other miscellaneous non-food, chemical additives that can steal your precious memories.