As we age, our minds can begin to slow down. Research into ways to improve brain function or prevent it from declining is ongoing. A recent study highlights how eating greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, may boost brain function.
Over 960 adults, who were ages 58-99, had their lifestyle and diets surveyed. They also received testing on memory and other mental skills. The results showed that people in the top 20% of leafy green vegetable intake had higher brain function compared to those who ate the least. The average difference in brain function was 11 years of aging. The people in the top 20% of green consumption usually ate one serving a day. This translates to a cup of raw greens or half a cup of cooked greens.
This study does not prove cause-and-effect. Rather, this study shows an association between the two. It does provide more evidence that lifestyle choices play a major role in brain aging. Eating more greens, however, wouldn’t hurt anyone. Most of us could probably stand to eat more than we do.
The best way to improve brain function is to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes a balanced diet that includes greens as well as regular exercise. These combined with keeping cardiovascular issues under control will lead to optimal health overall.
Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., professor, internal medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director, scientific programs and outreach, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago; Dec. 20, 2017,Neurology, online