Want to stay active and physically vital as you age? Then eat well now! That is what researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found when they compared adherence to a healthy eating pattern and incidence of impairment in physical function among 54,762 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. Physical function and diet habits were assessed every four years. Results showed that those women who ate the healthiest diets were least likely to develop mobility problems compared to those women who ate less well. High consumption of vegetables and fruits, moderate alcohol intake, and low consumption of sugary beverages, trans fats, and salt were each associated with a reduced risk of physical impairment. Specific foods most strongly linked with a lower risk of physical disability included oranges, orange juice, apples, pears, romaine or leaf lettuce, and walnuts.
Hagan K, Chiuve S, Stampfer M, et al: Greater adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index is associated with lower incidence of physical function impairment in the Nurses’ Health Study. Journal of Nutrition 2016;146:1341-1347.