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Consumer Reports: Leafy greens may slow memory loss

salad - file MGN photo

Most of us are familiar with the old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away. Now there is new evidence suggesting that a salad a day may keep memory loss at bay. The health team at Consumer Reports explains why you may want to spend a little more time in the produce section.

A new study shows eating leafy green vegetables every day may help in preserving memory and thinking skills as you grow older. Dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients, like folate, vitamin k and antioxidants - and these all play a role in brain health. The journal, Neurology, published the study, which found people who ate leafy greens had brains that functioned as well as people eleven years younger, compared to those who ate little or none. 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.

You don’t have to eat bowl after bowl either. The brain benefits were seen among people who ate roughly one and a third cups of raw greens a day, or about a half-cup of cooked dark, leafy greens. 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. Working greens into at least one meal a day could be a simple way to help promote brain health.

Consumer Reports says several studies support the link between diet and cognitive function, including a host of foods that may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Foods such as nuts, berries, beans, olive oil and even a daily glass of wine are all on the menu.

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