At least one serving of green, leafy vegetables per day slows the decline rate on tests of memory and thinking skills compared to those who rarely eat vegetables, says a study by Rush University Medical Center – Chicago. The study also revealed 11 years of difference between the two types of consumers. The author, Martha Clare Morris, said that an additional daily serving of green, leafy vegetables in your diet can be a simple way to foster your brain health. It is an effective strategy to prevent dementia in the old age group.
This study was conducted for an average of 4.7 years, on 960 people with an average age of 81 who didn’t have dementia. A questionnaire was used as a tool to conduct this research. Participants were asked to record their food habits on a routine basis. Their thinking and memory skills were also tested yearly during this period. A questionnaire asked about the number of times people ate green, leafy vegetables, spinach, (half cup cooked), kale/collards/greens (half cup cooked), and lettuce salad (one cup raw).
Participants were divided into five groups based on times they ate green, leafy vegetables. Top groups included people with an average of about 1.3 servings/day. Lowest groups ate an average of 0.1 servings/day. Throughout the 10-year duration, thinking and memory tests declined over time in all participants at a rate of 0.08 units/year. The group who ate most leafy greens had a slower rate of decline as compared to those who ate the least amount of leafy greens. This difference was equivalent to 11 years in age.
The results remained valid after taking into account factors that affect brain health including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, education level and amount of physical and cognitive activities. This is indicative of the brain power that these types of vegetables can provide to an individual. The need for rich nutrients and minerals that may not be found via consumption of other foods seems to be more present in those patients that eat leafy, green vegetables.
Plethora For The Palate
The great thing about these options is that there is a plethora of green vegetables to choose from. For the very picky eater, the steamed or cooked greens are much more sufficient. For those who have a wider, more established palate, raw vegetables also do the trick nicely.
This study solidifies the need for these types of dietary choices to be made throughout life but especially as an individual gets older and their brain function starts to naturally deteriorate. Vegetables have always been a staple that should be incorporated into a healthy and substantial diet in order to give the body what it needs to function best.
With studies such as these, we now know that vegetables can be preventative in many ways when it comes to cognition, memory and aptitude. So don't skip your vegetables. In fact, include even more into your daily diet. While other less healthy foods don't necessarily do anything for your brain power, they can also potentially be robbing you of health and vitality. The game of longevity in life is a tricky one but a good diet is an essential aspect that can keep you strong and healthy longer.
About The Author
Serene Hitchcock is a professional freelance writer, blogger and social media strategist from San Diego, California. She has been writing for several years in many forms and facets and is interested in arts, health, self-improvement, current events and the world we live in.