Two superfoods that can prevent dementia, reduce risk of dying early and help avoid cancer

Certain foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, boast a variety of important health benefits -Credit:Getty Images

Two superfoods have been identified by researchers as having a significant impact on health, including the prevention of dementia, reducing the risk of premature death and helping to ward off types of cancer.

As reported by The Times, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, cabbage and lettuce are hailed as brain food due to their essential nutrients, including vitamin K, lutein and folate, along with a variety of beneficial plant flavonoids.

These greens also provide nitrates, compounds that our bodies convert into nitrite, which in turn relaxes and widens blood vessels, enhancing blood flow to the heart, brain and muscles.

A daily serving of these leafy greens has been proven by nutritionists at Chicago's Rush University to slow down age-related cognitive decline, Gloucestershire Live reports. Those who consumed two or more servings typically displayed memory and recall skills similar to someone 11 years their junior.

A study funded by the World Cancer Research Fund last year revealed a daily dose of leafy greens may cut the risk of bowel cancer by as much as 7 per cent, with over 70,000 individuals taking part. Dr Linia Patel, renowned dietician, advocates for green leafy vegetables, commenting they can have a "profound effect on general health and on heart health".

Researchers stationed at Edith Cowan University's Institute for Nutrition Research in Australia discovered that consuming leafy greens every day can "significantly reduce the risk of blood pressure and cardiovascular disease", reporting from a study involving nearly 3,000 people.

Another 'superfood' hailed by experts is a handful of nuts, which could slash the likelihood of respiratory disease or even cancer. A small serving of 20g of nuts daily comes with a vast array of potential health benefits.

A team from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that people who eat nuts regularly could reduce their chances of heart disease by nearly 30 per cent, cancer by 15 per cent and ward off premature death by 22 per cent.

Close up of a girls hands eating nuts
Snacking on nuts could help reduce your chances of developing certain illnesses -Credit:Getty Images

Featured in BMC Medicine journal, the review consisted of 29 studies from around the globe, assessing data from 819,000 people. It showed that eating nuts daily halved the odds of dying from respiratory disease and decreased them by almost 40 per cent for diabetes.

"Nuts are also rich in cholesterol-lowering fats and fibre as well as minerals that are linked to better heart health," according to nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. "Their nutrient profile varies, so have a good mix of raw and unsalted varieties."

In addition to this, a study involving 47,000 men discovered that those who consumed a third of a cup of nuts five times a week had a 34 per cent lower risk of mortality from prostate cancer.

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