Salad a Day May Keep the Doctor Away

Researchers from Rush University and Tufts University studied almost 1,000 people and found out that those who ate one to two daily servings of green vegetables like lettuce, kale or spinach had a significantly lower rate of cognitive decline. There were five different groups in which the participants were divided on the basis of how often they ate leafy vegetables.

A serving equalled about 100g of cooked spinach, kale or collard greens such as cabbage or sprouts, or about 200g of lettuce salad.

The cognitive difference between the groups who did and didn't eat those vegetables regularly was about 11 years, according to study authors. Their thinking and memory skills were then tested yearly, over a course of 4.7 years.

In general, mental abilities of all participants were decreasing by 0.08 standard units a year. On average those in the highest group ate just over one serving of these vegetables per day, more than ten times the amount of those in the lowest group.

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Intake of primary nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables is associated with slower cognitive decline, according to a study published online December 20 in Neurology.

"Observational studies like this are not able to pinpoint cause and effect but can be extremely useful in giving us an idea of lifestyle factors that are associated with good health". However, older people who ate one or two servings of vitamin K rich food per day performed better on memory tests than those who didn't.

'The researchers did not directly look at dementia, so we can not say that it would delay or prevent the onset of the condition.

The study team noticed that the impact of eating green vegetables was similar to being 11 years younger. So make sure your Christmas dinner is piled high with greens this year!'

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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