It's been known for sometime now that oxidative stress contributes to the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a serious and deadly neurodegenerative disease. New research published in the Annals of Neurology finds that a diet high in a particular set of fruits and vegetables may help prevent or at least delay the onset of ALS.
Bright orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables get their color from chemical compounds called carotenoids. Carotenoids are also found in dark leafy green vegetables.
Two well-known carotenoids, beta-carotene and lutein were found to specifically help delay the onset of ALS. Others carotenoids like lycopene and beta-cryptoxanthin were not found to be associated with a lower risk of ALS.
Dr. Alberto Ascherio, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and lead scientist in this recent study summarized the research simply by stating: "Our findings suggest that consuming carotenoid-rich foods may help prevent or delay the onset of ALS."
Looking for good nutritional sources of beta-carotene and lutein? Try some of these in your daily diet:
- sweet potatoes
- winter squash
- turnip greens