Neurological study: Salad a day could keep memory loss at bay

Eating leafy green every day could help preserve memory, study shows

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - While an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, a new study suggests a salad a day may keep memory loss at bay.

A study shows that eating leafy green vegetables every day may help preserve memory and thinking skills as you get older.

“Dark, leafy greens are packed with nutrients like folate, vitamin K and antioxidants, and these all play a role in brain health,” said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports’ health editor.

The Journal of Neurology published the study, which found people who ate leafy greens had brains that functioned as well as people 11 years younger compared to people who ate little or no leafy greens.

“Eleven years is significant, and what this study does is it adds to a growing body of scientific evidence that we can make real changes in our risks for dementia by altering our diets,” said Dr. Orly Avitzur, Consumer Reports’ medical advisor.

You don’t have to eat bowl after bowl. The brain benefits were seen among people who ate roughly 1 1/3 cups of raw greens a day, or about a half-cup of cooked dark, leafy greens.

As a neurologist, Avitzur said the findings could provide another tool for helping people stay healthy.

“As the population ages, the numbers of people with dementia rises. So it’s critically important to find effective strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline,” Avitzur said.

Working greens into at least one meal a day could be a simple way to promote brain health.

Several studies support the link between diet and cognitive function by eating foods such as nuts, berries, beans, olive oil and even a daily glass of wine.

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