Eating one serving per day of green leafy vegetables might lower the brain’s ageing to an equivalent of 11 years younger, a recent study found.
Rush University researcher found that people eating at least a serving per day of green leafy veggies showed a slower rate of decline in tests related to thinking skills and memory than those people who rarely or never ate green leafy veggies.
The difference in the two groups was equal to 11 years, which means the brains of green leafy veggies eaters tested as 11 years younger than members of the other group.
One of the researchers for the study said that by adding just one serving per day of the green leafy vegetables might be one of the simplest ways to foster brain health.
The researcher added that projections showed a sharp increase in the percentages of people being diagnosed with dementia as the older age groups are growing in number, so strategies that are effective in preventing dementia are very critical.
Over 960 people participated in the study with the average age being 81. The participants did not have dementia and were followed for 4.7 years on average. The participants filled out questionnaires about the frequency they ate certain types of foods, and were tested for memory and thinking skills each year over the period of the studying.
The questionnaire asked the frequency and the quantity of servings people ate of three different green leafy vegetables – kale, lettuce and spinach. Researchers made five groups that were equal based upon the frequency they ate the vegetables.
Participants in the top serving group averaged 1.3 servings daily of the green leafy vegetables. Those in serving groups that were lower at an average of 0.1 servings each day. Overall, scores of the participants for memory and thinking tests dropped during time at the rate of 0.08 units annually.
Over the follow up of 10 years, the decline rate for those that ate the most leafy greens was 0.05 units slower each year compared to the rate for those eating leafy greens at least one time. The difference was equal to approximately 11 years.
These results remained valid even following accounting for more factors that might affect the health of the brain such high blood pressure, smoking, level of education and the amount of cognitive and physical activities.