Diet: Eating bags of popcorn could reduce chances of dementia, US research claims

It's a mainstay of cinema visits - and now comes with added health benefits.
Eating popcorn could reduce your risk of dementia. (Picture: Adobe Stock)Eating popcorn could reduce your risk of dementia. (Picture: Adobe Stock)
Eating popcorn could reduce your risk of dementia. (Picture: Adobe Stock)

Eating a daily bag of popcorn could be a secret hack to reducing your risk of dementia.

Research carried out in Chicago suggests that eating three ounces of whole grains each day leads to a smaller cognitive decline over the years. The researchers from Rush University examined 3,300 people over the course of six years.

These whole grains can range from cereal to quinoa - but popcorn is also a viable option.

American dietary guidelines recommend a minimum of three servings of whole grain foods per day, the qeuivalent of half a cup of rice or pasta. Researchers found that those eating three or more whole grains per day had a slower rate of cognitive decline than those who ate the least - which is the key symptom of dementia.

The research looked at plain popcorn as a whole grain, so the impact of putting butter, toffee or sugar with them was not examined, though these ingredients come with their own health impacts.

Dr Xiaoran Liu, who led the study, said: 'With Alzheimer's disease and dementia affecting millions of Americans, finding ways to prevent the disease is a high public health priority. It's exciting to see that people could potentially lower their risk of dementia by increasing their diet of whole grains by a couple of servings a day.'

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