It’s no secret that a diet rich in vegetables is good for your health! Consumption of green leafy vegetables have long been identified as a hallmark for wellness and healthy ageing, but now the proof is in the pudding…a delicious vegie pudding, so to speak.
A recent and large-scale memory and ageing project, conducted by Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, set out to discover the effects that dark green leafy vegetables exert over cognitive abilities and the rate of cognitive decline. Consisting of 960 participants aged between 58-99 years, researchers discovered that daily consumption of 1-2 serves of green leafy vegetables rich in phylloquinone (vitamin K), lutein, nitrate and folate is enough to achieve cognitive abilities similar to those over a decade younger in age. Green vegetables rich in these nutrients include spinach, kale, asparagus and Brussel’s sprouts.
Participants of this study demonstrated improved cognitive abilities and performed better on memory testing, when compared with individuals over a decade younger in age who rarely or never consumed green leafy vegetables. The key nutrients identified are believed to act on pathways that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease progression, including reducing oxidative stress that triggers cellular ageing, improving mitochondrial function (involved in cell energy production) and reducing protein markers that are associated with neuroinflammation.
This study signifies that winding back the clock on your brain can be as simple as eating your daily dose of vegetables. It’s a no-brainer!
If you’re after additional food and nutritional alternatives that improve healthy ageing, book an appointment with our Naturopath, Julia. Available for consultation on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
Written by: Julia D’Angelo, Naturopath