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Research Says Leafy Greens Are Tied To Strong Memory

Leafy green vegetables are a big hit all round when it comes to nutrition. They play a vital part in supplying dietary fiber which protects against cancer and keeps body weight down. However, scientists have recently discovered another benefit to eating leafy greens — it protects your memory.

Cognitive Decline Is Slower

Cognitive decline has always been considered to be a natural part of the aging process. The older we become, the more we forget and the more thought tasks tend to take.

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But researchers say this may not be a given. Martha Clare Morris, a nutrition science professor at Chicago’s Rush Medical College and director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, says that her study of those who consume green leafy vegetables on a regular basis paints quite a different picture. Those who eat their greens show no cognitive decline or a much slower rate of decline than those who do not.

How Much Do You Need To Eat To Avoid Cognitive Decline?

Of course, “eat leafy greens” is not a very useful instruction unless you know how much to eat. The study published in Neurology concluded that the “right amount” is 1.3 portions a day on average. A portion is a half-cup of cooked greens or a whole cup of raw greens.

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That is a portion a day and two on Saturday and Sunday. Eating this much means that you are likely to have a rate of cognitive decline of approximately half that of a group of people who eat no leafy greens.

Previous Research Agrees With The Findings

Previous research hasn’t been quite as specific as this study, but studies into the Mediterranean¬†diet (which is rich in leafy greens) show a similar protection against cognitive decline.

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Martha Clare Morris attributes this to the presence of Vitamin E, K, lutein, beta-carotene, and folates in the vegetables. She says,¬†“They have different roles and different biological mechanisms to protect the brain.” It’s the combination of these nutrients that delivers such powerful benefits. So, start eating your greens, it might be the best investment in your mental health that you can make.

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