A new study published this week in the journal Neurology found that the nutrients in leafy greens may help prevent dementia and brain aging.
Researchers at Rush University and Tufts University studied 960 people and found that those who reported eating one to two daily servings of green leafy vegetables, such as kale, lettuce or spinach, had slower rates of cognitive decline.
For the study, researchers administered questionnaires to 960 adults between the ages of 58 and 99, asking them how often they ate different types of food during the study period of approximately 5 years.
Analysis of the data found that adults who were in the top 20% of leafy green vegetable consumption (1-2 servings per day) tended to have slower cognitive decline over time, which, in the words of the researchers, was “the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age.”
The association was strongest for vegetables that are rich in folate, a-tocopherol, nitrate, kaempferol lutein and phylloquinone (vitamin K).
The conclusion was the consumption of approximately 1 serving per day of green leafy vegetables may slow cognitive decline, brain aging and help prevent dementia.
Here’s a list of leafy green vegetables that slow brain aging.
Also, cruciferous leafy greens like Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
My recommendations for getting more leafy greens into your diet.
1. Keep it simple like the delicious steamed spinach in the photo above. Garnish it with some chopped garlic, sesame seeds, ground black pepper and lemon juice.
2. When making kale salads, massage the dressing into the kale for two to three minutes to make it soft and more appetizing.
3. Experiment with new leafy greens like mustard greens. Add the greens to a white bean stir-fry like this cannellini and greens recipe with hemp seeds. Or simply blanch your greens and add garlic, red pepper and top with a little red wine vinegar.
5. Drink your leafy green vegetables like this “Green With Envy” power smoothie.
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Just getting started on a plant-based diet? Here is a free downloadable list of delicious vegan protein.
Hope you have a peaceful and compassionate week!