As a famous being once said, and sang, “It’s not easy being green.” However, here’s a new research report describing specific benefits connected with leafy greens.
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Ben Coxworth – New Atlas/Rush University
December 22nd, 2017
A daily salad might be a good idea for people wishing to stave off dementia
According to a new study conducted by Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, just one serving of leafy green vegetables per day could help preserve memory and thinking skills as we get older. In fact, following such a diet may slow brain aging by up to 11 years.
The study involved 960 participants, who were followed over an average of 4.7 years. Their average age was 81 when the study began, and none of them were experiencing dementia. They got their thinking and memory skills tested every year, plus they completed food frequency questionnaires – these assessed how often they ate one or more half-cup servings of greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce or collard greens.
Although all of the participants’ test scores decreased somewhat over the years, the rate of decline for the people who ate the most leafy vegetables (1.3 servings per day) was 0.05 standardized units slower than that of the people who ate the least vegetables (0.1 servings per day). While that might not sound like much, over the course of the study it added up to the equivalent of their being 11 years younger than their veg-shunning counterparts.
The study did account for factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, education level and amount of physical and cognitive activities. That said, the researchers do admit that the majority of the participants were older and white, so their findings may not apply to those who are younger or of other races.
In the study, author Martha Clare Morris says …
“Adding a daily serving of green leafy vegetables
to your diet may be a simple way to help promote
brain health. There continue to be sharp increases
in the percentage of people with dementia as the
oldest age groups continue to grow in number.
Effective strategies to prevent dementia
are critically needed.”
Source: Rush University
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These findings may not sound like much, as many of us likely include salads in our daily food consumption. But I’m not sure we do so on as regular a basis as we should. And I’m not sure we’re as aware of the specific impacts eating more leafy greens provides.
Feeling healthy and enjoying greater mental alertness – which increases the potential for living with greater joy – is all a part of sustainable living.