Regularly eating green vegetables may help to delay by up to decade the decline of mental abilities and memory that occurs naturally with aging, suggests a research published Wednesday.
“Adding a serving of green vegetables to meals daily could be a simple way to help maintain good brain health as you get older,” said Martha Clare Morris, an epidemiologist and nutrition expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, lead author of the study, which appeared in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study was conducted among 960 people aged 81 years in average at the beginning of the study and who showed no signs of dementia. The results suggest that participants who consumed at least one serving of green vegetables each day had, according to regular test results, a slower decline in their cognitive and memory skills than those who ate them infrequently or never.
According to the researchers, people who consume green vegetables regularly were cognitively speaking eleven years younger. Participants, averaged 4.7 years and were tested annually. They regularly answered questionnaires about their diet to determine the frequency and quantity of green vegetables consumed. These are spinach, kale, green cabbage or lettuce.
The results of the study remained valid after taking into account other factors that could affect, for better or for worse, the health of the brain. The researchers cite the consumption of fish and seafood, alcohol and also smoking, high blood pressure, high levels of education, and being physically and mentally active.
“The results of this study do not prove that regular consumption of green vegetables slows cerebral aging but they show a correlation,” says Martha Clare Morris. “We can not exclude other possible factors,” she adds. To solidify the correlations, say the researchers, the same study should be conducted with groups of younger and more diverse people.