Eating popcorns everyday could reduce the risk of dementia, according to a study from Rush University in Chicago published in the journal Neurology. Researchers at Rush, after monitoring 3,300 people for six years and testing their cognitive abilities, found that those who consumed whole grains, such as lightly salted popcorn, quinoa, or others, daily had a lesser decline in cognitive scores compared to those who barely consumed these foods.
The researchers observed this effect only in participants of color, who constituted 60% of the study participants. It is possible that the same effect was not observed in white participants either because they were too few in the study or because they were much less likely to consume whole grains compared to their counterparts.
Whole grains are rich in fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugars in the blood, thereby avoiding sugar spikes that can cause plaque in the arteries and inflammation, increasing the risk of dementia.
This news comes after researchers also discovered that eating a bowl of sugary cereals a day could increase the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer by up to 25%. More than six million Americans suffer from dementia, but it is expected that this figure will more than double in the next two decades.
Elderly adults of color have more than double the probability of receiving a diagnosis of this condition, which experts believe could be linked to the fact that the group has higher rates of heart disease. For the study, scientists analyzed data from 3,300 adults with an average age of 75 who did not suffer from dementia.
All had participated in the Chicago Health and Aging Project, which followed 10,000 people from 1993 to 2012. They were interviewed every three years about the frequency of whole grain consumption, and they were asked to complete cognitive and memory tests. These tasks included recalling a list of words, remembering numbers, and putting them in the correct order.