Scientists at King’s College London found that eating certain fruits and vegetables, broccoli in particular, could boost the memory. According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the research has “major implications for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.” This study supports others that indicate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Extracts found in five fruits and vegetables – broccoli, potatoes, oranges, apples and radishes – contain phytochemicals that act in the same way as drugs used to treat the disease. These drugs act as inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
The King’s College researchers found glucosinolates, compounds found mainly in the cabbage family, were responsible. The potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, such as solanine, which produced similar results.
By helping insure enough of the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine, these five fruits and vegetables could help protect older folks from memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Another reason to eat your broccoli is the abundance of studies showing it’s anti-cancer properties. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables in the cabbage family target cancer cells, killing them while leaving nearby healthy cells alone. A recent research study led by Dr. Emily Ho at Oregon State University, found that other phytochemicals, called sulphoraphanes, can stop or kill prostate cancer cells.