Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and vitamin C, help fight against cell damage and slow aging in the body. High intake of vitamin E and C may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative disease that leads to loss of physical and mental function, say researchers from the Netherlands in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Over 5,000 people who were 55 years or older provided dietary records over a three-year period, and researchers examined how intake of antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene (found in carrots and sweet potatoes) affected a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. At the six-year follow up, 146 of the study participants had developed Alzheimer's disease. Researchers determined that people who had high intakes of vitamin C and vitamin E had a much lower risk of developing Alzheimer's.
It's recommended that both women and men consume at least 60 milligrams of vitamin C daily. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, berries, potatoes with skins, peppers, broccoli and spinach. Women need 8 milligrams of vitamin E daily, whereas men should consume at least 10 milligrams. To meet your daily vitamin E needs, try foods such as wheat germ, vegetable oil, egg yolks and whole grains.
Sources: Engelhart MJ, Geerlings MI, Ruitenberg A, van Swieten JC, Hofman A, Witteman JCM, Breteler MMB. Dietary Intake of Antioxidants and Risk of Alzheimer Disease. Journal of the American Medical Association 2002;287:3223-3229.