Eating Leafy Green Vegetables Slows Cognitive Decline

Eating spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables may help slow cognitive decline, according new research from Rush University Medical Center which will be presented at the 2015 American annual meeting of the Society for Nutrition.
The researchers analyzed the diets and also the cognitive abilities of 954 older adults (average age 81) for five years, and observed a slowing of measurable cognitive decline among those who consumed greater amounts of green leafy vegetables.

The study also uncovered which specific nutrients may be responsible responsible for the benefit. They found, by dietary analysis, that vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene were most likely to be responsible.

“Losing one’s memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older” says head researcher Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D. “With baby boomers approaching old age, there is huge public demand for lifestyle behaviors that can ward off loss of memory and other cognitive abilities with age. Increasing consumption of green leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”
People who ate daily servings of these foods had on average the cognitive ability of a person 11 years younger than study participants who ate none of the recommended foods.
In 2011 Web MD published an article which ranked the top  leafy green vegetables in terms of general health benefit. The list includes: kale, collards,turnip greens, swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens , broccoli, red and green leaf and romaine lettuce, and cabbage.
The research team hopes to continue their research and study the mechanisms by which the beneficial nutrients have their effects on the brain.


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