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Wellness Tip

Leafy Greens Good for the Brain

by Wellness Letter  

Leafy green vegetables, as part of a healthy diet, may help slow age-related cognitive decline, according to a study in the journal Neurology.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago analyzed data on 960 people (ages 58 to 99, without dementia at baseline) taking part in the Rush Memory and Aging Project and found that those who ate the most leafy greens had significantly slower cognitive decline over a five-year period than those who rarely or never consumed them—a difference of about 11 years in the rate of cognitive aging, they estimated.

Leafy greens include spinach, kale, collards, and lettuce, which contain potentially neuroprotective compounds such as folate, vitamins K and E, and carotenoids. They are a prominent component of the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, devised by Rush researchers, along with whole grains, nuts, beans, and berries.

A version of this article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

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