Researchers have discovered that eating leafy greens may help prevent dementia, giving people another good reason to stop skipping vegetables during their meals.
Next time you place an order at the restaurant or wave away the bowl of salad at dinner, remember that eating leafy vegetables may help delay the decline in thinking skills and memory as people grow older.
Eating Salads May Keep The Brain Healthy
Researchers from Chicago's Rush University Medical School discovered that consuming as little as one and one-third cups of lettuce every day, or about more than half a cup of cooked dark leafy vegetables, may delay the onset of dementia as people grow older.
The study, published in the Neurology journal, involved 960 men and women with ages of 58 years old to 99 years old, and required them to answer questions on food frequency. The subjects underwent at least two cognitive assessments over an average of nearly five years.
Analysis revealed that subjects who ate the most leafy greens, at one to two servings daily, scored the equivalent of having brains that are 11 years younger compared to subjects that do not regularly eat lefy vegetables.
The study was considered observational, as the data provided no direct evidence that eating leafy greens improved brain health. However, for people who would want to delay mental declines, even the possibility of a causal relationship between the two should make you want to include more salads in your daily diet.
Dementia And Alzheimer's Disease
Dementia, the set of symptoms brought about by damage to brain cells due to old age, includes memory loss and difficulties in thinking. Alzheimer's disease destroys the brain, and is one of the leading causes of dementia.
A recent study revealed the unfortunate prediction that by 2060, there will be 15 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease. There is currently no known cure for the disease, and all that can be done is to delay its progression.
Researchers recently claimed that regular exercise, vitamins, brain training, and a healthy diet will not be able to prevent the onset of dementia. However, they found low-level evidence combining interventions, such as cognitive training, physical activity, and a healthy diet all at once, resulted in improvements to cognitive functions.
Another recent study claimed that marriage may help people lower the risk of dementia. This is because of the lifestyle factors usually associated with having a spouse, such as a generally healthier lifestyle and more social stimulation.