| USA TODAY
Eating green, leafy vegetables daily may have the ability to beat back aging in the brain, possibly allowing our minds to act a decade younger, a new study finds.
Study author Martha Clare Morris of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center suggests adding one serving of cooked spinach, kale, collards or raw lettuce to our daily diets could better our noggins.
Her study appeared in Wednesday’s edition of Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology’s medical journal.
Morris’ study analyzed the diets and brain activity of nearly 1,000 participants with an average age of 81. Each participant was tracked for an average of 4.7 years. Each year, participants filled out a questionnaire about how many servings of leafy greens they ate daily. It also involved thinking and memory skill tests.
A serving equaled a half cup of cooked spinach, a half cup of cooked kale/collards/greens or a cup of raw lettuce.
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While all saw their memory and thinking decline, the group that ate the most leafy greens — about 1.3 servings each day — witnessed a slower rate of brain decline than those who ate the least leafy greens per day — about 0.1 servings.
The difference between the two groups, the study said, was “the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age.”
“Adding a daily serving of green, leafy vegetables to your diet may be a simple way to foster your brain health,” Morris said in a statement. “Projections show sharp increases in the percentage of people with dementia as the oldest age groups continue to grow in number, so effective strategies to prevent dementia are critical.”
However, the study cautions it only shows an association between eating leafy greens and brain activity and does not prove that eating such vegetables slows brain decline. Other possibilities, Morris said, may contribute to the association.
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