Vegetable compounds found to improve cognition in old age

Carotenoids are a natural plant chemical that can be found in a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and oranges.

However, some carotenoids, like lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) can also be found in dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and peas.

A variety of studies have shown that diets rich in L and Z help maintain visual health, improve visual acuity, and slow down some age-related eye diseases.

Other studies have suggested L and Z improve cognitive function in adults aged 98 years and over. Increased levels of the compounds were associated with better memory and higher verbal fluency.

However, the neural mechanisms responsible for the association between carotenoids and cognition remains unknown.