Eating your greens helps to maintain sharp mental ability

By Kate Hassett

Eating your greens helps to maintain sharp mental ability
A new study reveals that warding off potential cognitive decline can be as easy as upping your green leafy vegetable intake.

According to a new study, green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, mustard greens, spinach and silverbeet, have the ability to significantly slow the effects of cognitive decline.

As we all know, the high amounts of vitamin K found in these vegetables is beneficial to our health in boundless ways, but the effects on our cognitive development have only now been uncovered.

In a study of more than 950 adults across a five-year period, scientists observed and tested the participants’ daily food and beverage intake, whilst making exceptions and corrections for smokers, education, genetic risk of Alzheimer’s and physical activities.

Rigorous cognitive testing at the end of every year determined the effects that all of these factors had taken on the decline of brain activity.

The participants who consumed greater amounts of the leafy greens, of either two or more servings, were found to have the ability of a person eleven years younger than those who had not included the greens in their diets.

With memory loss and cognitive decline being central to both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, leafy greens could offer an affordable and easily maintainable addition to early treatment.

The study’s author, Martha Clare Morris, Sc. D. emphasised the importance of lifestyle changes in protecting against cognitive change; “with baby boomers approaching old age, there is huge public demand for lifestyle behaviours that can ward off loss of memory and other cognitive abilities with age… our studies provide 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.”

Furthering this research, studies will be conducted into how the nutrients in green leafy vegetables act on the mechanisms of the brain.


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