Published on: April 3, 2015
by Dr. Max Wachtel for 9News:
Age-related cognitive decline: That is what it is called when we age and our brains no longer work as well as they used to.
It happens to all of us. Our brain functioning peaks around age 40, and then it is downhill from there.
There is a bright spot of hope though: leafy greens may help slow that decline.
New research presented at the American Society of Nutrition Annual Conference found that two servings of leafy green vegetables per day helps take about 11 years off the age of our brains.
The researchers followed more than 900 people with an average age of 81 for five years. The people who ate two servings of vegetables high in vitamins every day performed significantly better on a range of cognitive tests than did the non-veggie eaters.
The specific vitamins found to help stave off age-related cognitive decline and certain types of dementia were vitamin-k, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene—these vitamins naturally occur in leafy greens and in brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
“With baby boomers approaching old age, there is a huge public demand for lifestyle behaviors that can ward off loss of memory and other cognitive abilities with age,” said Lead researcher Martha Clare Morris. “[Increasing] consumption of green leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain.”
So, there is nothing you can do to stop the dreaded age-related cognitive decline, but eating two servings of leafy greens can help you slow it way down.
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