Research: Keep Your Brain Sharp by Eating Green Leafy Vegetables

It's Salad Time! Jamie Grill Tetra images. Getty Images.

Sounds like Popeye's strategy of eating spinach was right all along!

However, according to the research discussed below, instead of his arm muscles bulging as soon as he downed a can, the new version of the cartoon should perhaps show Popeye's brain lighting up, becoming larger in size and appearing quite youthful.

The Research

Research presented at the Experimental Biology conference highlighted the importance of eating green leafy vegetables to improve brain functioning.

The study reported at the conference involved 950 adults with an average age of 81 who were tracked for between two to ten years. At the beginning of the study, the participants completed a detailed 144-item questionnaire about the amounts and types of foods and beverages consumed.

Following this, their cognitive abilities were assessed annually through the administration of 19 different mental tests. Researchers also considered other risk factors such as age, sex, smoking, physical activity level, education level and genetic risk.

The Results

The participants who consumed one to two servings a day of green leafy vegetables performed better on those cognitive tests, In fact, their memory and mental abilities were on par with others who were 11 years younger than they were. The study concluded that higher consumption of the vegetables, which contain vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene, significantly slowed down the brain decline that typically happens as we age.

The authors also pointed out that vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-caratene can be found in brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, in addition to green leafy vegetables.

Related Reading


Experimental Biology. March 30, 2015. Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp.

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