Researchers followed nearly 28,000 men for 20 years and examined how their fruit and vegetable consumption affected their brain power.
Men who drank a small glass of orange juice daily were 47 percent less likely to have problems remembering, following instructions or navigating familiar areas.
Currently there are 850,000 people suffering from dementia in the UK, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
This is set to rise to 2million by 2051 with 225,000 people developing the condition every year.
Currently there is no cure for dementia although scientists have been searching for years.
Changzheng Yuan, the lead study author on the paper, said long-term intake of veg, fruit and orange juice “may be beneficial”.
Harvard University carried out the research, questioning the men – with an average age of 51 – every four years about their consumption of fruit and veg, the MailOnline reports.
The group with the highest consumption of vegetables ate around six servings a day, with a cup equalling one serving.
The group with the lowest intake ate around just two servings a day.
Similarly for fruit, the top group at around three servings a day compared to just half a serving for the bottom group.
The men were then tested for thinking and memory when they were 73 years old, on average.
They were questioned on whether or not they could remember recent events and items on shopping lists.
The study found that overall, 6.6 percent of men who ate the most veg developed poor cognitive function and performed badly on tests while 7.9 percent of men who ate the least were found to have poor cognitive function.
While fruit consumption didn’t appear to have an influence on moderate cognitive problems, drinking orange juice did.
The study, published in Neurology, showed that just 6.9 percent of those who drank orange juice every day developed poor cognitive function.
That compares to 8.4 percent of men who drank orange juice less than once a month.
Ms Yuan said: “The protective role of regular consumption of fruit juice was mainly observed among the oldest men.
“Since fruit juice is usually high in calories from concentrated fruit sugars, it's generally best to consume no more than a small glass (four to six ounces) per day.”
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