Health Headlines: Benefits of colorful foods

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 6:32 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - In the United States women tend to live to be about 80 while their male counterparts usually average around 75. Despite living on average about 5 years longer, women also tend to suffer from more diseases.

What women eat can make a big difference when it comes to their overall health and research says certain colorful foods can be a big help.

Dr. Sepi Shokouhi is an assistant professor for Vanderbilt University Medical Center explains, “Two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients here in the U.S. are women.”

That gender divide is about the same for macular degeneration as well.

So, while women tend to have a longer lifespan, it also means they will have to live with these conditions longer. That’s why chief medical officer for L.A. Care Health Plan, Dr. Richard Seidman, says diet plays a huge role in women’s overall quality of life.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that shows that healthy nutrition and medically tailored meals can significantly improve overall health outcomes.”

And, as it turns out, those meals should be a little colorful. People who ate lots of foods that were high in pigmented carotenoids had a 40% lower risk of the advanced form of macular degeneration. And a study from the national council on aging found the risk of dementia decreased for patients that had a diet high in these kinds of foods as well.

If you’re curious, these are foods that are high in pigmented carotenoids:

  • Yams
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Carrots

While both men and women have the same carotenoids requirements for their diets, researchers say women need to eat them more often since they tend to absorb them much faster.