A diet rich in tea, coffee, fruits, and vegetables could reduce your chances of developing dementia by as much as a third.

Healthy plant compounds can be found in tea, coffee, fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes like chickpeas and lentils.

These medications can reduce the effects of age-related inflammation on the body, which could increase the likelihood of dementia.

The study assessed the anti-inflammatory diets of over 1,000 people and followed them for an average period of three years.

In an average week, those with the best anti-inflammatory diet consumed 20 servings of fruit and 19 portions of vegetables. There were also 11 cups or more of coffee or tea.

Three times as likely were those with the lowest anti-inflammatory diets to develop dementia than this group.

Dr Nikolaos Scarmeas, senior author of the study from Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, said: ‘These findings suggest that people could protect their brains by eating more healthily. 

A study rated the diet of more than 1,000 older people for anti-inflammatory foods and tracked them over an average of three years. Those with the most anti-inflammatory diet consumed around 20 pieces of fruit, 19 servings of vegetables, four servings of legumes and 11 cups of coffee or tea in the average week. Compared to this group, those with the least anti-inflammatory diet were three times more likely to get dementia

An average of three years was required to assess the anti-inflammatory diet of 1,000 seniors. The average person who had the best anti-inflammatory diet consumed 20 servings of fruits, 19 portions of vegetables and 11 cups each of tea or coffee per week. The dementia risk for those on the lowest anti-inflammatory diet was three times higher than that of this group. 

What is dementia? 

The umbrella term dementia is used to refer to a variety of neurological conditions that affect the brain.

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

One person may be affected by a mix of different types of dementia.

No matter what type of dementia is being diagnosed, every person experiences their dementia differently.

Although dementia is an issue worldwide, it’s most common in wealthy countries where older people live longer.


The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which more than 500,000 have Alzheimer’s.

The UK’s dementia population is expected to rise by more than 1 million people in 2025, according to estimates.

According to the US estimates, there are about 5.5 Million Alzheimer’s disease sufferers. The future is predicted to see a similar rise in this percentage.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

While the diagnosis rate is increasing, it’s believed that many dementia patients remain undiagnosed.


There are currently no treatments for dementia.

New drugs may slow the progression of the disease, and it’s better to be treated as soon as possible.

Source: Dementia UK


‘As people can change their diets, they might want to think about eating anti-inflammatory foods like fruit and vegetables and avoiding more inflammatory choices like very high-calorie foods.

‘But more research is needed before specific dietary advice can be given, as this was not a clinical trial providing clear proof.’

This study was published in Neurology. It looked at the diets and habits of 65-year-olds based on the questionnaires that they completed about their past months.

This included fruits and vegetables, milk products, meats, fish, desserts. Also, legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils) were all part of the list.

Six per cent of the 1,059 participants in the study developed dementia.

Researchers divided people into three categories based upon their responses to the questionnaires about food. This was done in order to determine who is more likely.

They comprised those who had the best anti-inflammatory diet, people on a moderate diet, and those who were least anti-inflammatory.

Three times as likely were those who had the most anti-inflammatory diets to get dementia. In an average week, they consumed just nine fruits and 10 vegetables.

The questionnaires were used to work out scores for people’s nutrient intake, which ranged from minus 8.87 for the most anti-inflammatory diet to 7.98 for the least.

Scores higher indicated poorer diet. Results showed dementia patients had scores 0.64 points lower than non-dementia sufferers.

The study authors took into account people’s age, as dementia is more likely in later years, their sex, as women are at a greater risk, and their education levels, as more highly educated people are less likely to get dementia.

Even after accounting for these, however, every one-point increase in the inflammatory score of someone’s diet was associated with a 21 per cent rise in their risk of dementia.

Previous studies found that people who eat a more inflamed diet are less likely to retain their memories and experience cognitive decline later in life.