Can green vegetables keep the brain healthy?

According to research published in the journal Neurology, just one serving of green leafy vegetables per day slows cognitive decline in older adults.

Researchers from Rush University in Chicago and Tufts Human Nutrition Research Centre in Boston analysed the diets of 960 older adults participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project.

For approximately five years, the people in the study took cognitive tests and recorded how frequently they ate leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and lettuce.

The results found the people eating the most green vegetables, just less than 1.5 servings a day, had better cognitive function than people consuming minimal amounts.

Significantly, the cognitive function of people eating the highest amounts of green vegetables equated to 11 years younger compared to people consuming low amounts of green vegetables.

Specific nutrients in green leafy vegetables that best support brain health are folate, vitamin K, beta-carotene and lutein.

” The addition of a daily serving of green leafy vegetables to one’s diet may be a simple way to contribute to brain health”, wrote the authors.


Morris.M., Wang.Y… Booth.S. (2018). Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline. Neurology, 90.3. e214-e222

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