Leafy greens keep the brain sharp

Leafy greens keep the brain sharp

Simply eating leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, mustard greens, and more could help slow down cognitive decline. New research from the Rush University Medical Center shows that leafy greens keep the brain sharp.

Losing one’s memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older,” said Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center and leader of the research team.

Since declining cognitive ability is central to Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, 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.”

The research team followed the diets and brain health of over 950 adults for about 5 years and saw a significant decrease in cognitive decline in those who ate more leafy green vegetables. Participants who ate 1-2 servings of leafy greens per day had the cognitive abilities of a person 11 years younger than those who didn’t eat them.

When the researchers went further to find the nutrients that contribute to cognitive health, they discovered that vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene were the most potent.

Our study identified some very novel associations,” said Morris. “No other studies have looked at vitamin K in relation to change in cognitive abilities over time, and only a limited number of studies have found some association with lutein.”

Previous studies have linked beta-carotene and folate intake to brain health.

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,” said Morris. “Our study provides evidence that eating green leafy vegetables and other foods rich in vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene can help to keep the brain healthy to preserve functioning.”

Other good sources of vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene are fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored.

The study showing that leafy greens keep the brain sharp will be presented at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Annual Meeting during Experimental Biology 2015.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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For a leafy green citrus juice.
For the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables.
For the health benefits of arugula.
For the health benefits of broccoli.
For the health benefits of cauliflower.
For the health benefits of kale.
For the health benefits of turnips.

1. “Eating Green Leafy Vegetables Keeps Mental Abilities Sharp.” Newswise. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

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