(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new study suggests that leafy greens may hold the key to a longer life and lower dementia risk into old age.

Researchers found that consuming one to two servings of lettuce, kale, spinach, or other greens per day had a lower cognitive decline than their peers who rarely ate the veggies.

The findings are significant since Alzheimer’s disease rates are on an ascending trend in the Western world. According to the Alzheimer’s Assn., 16 million people could be diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition by 2050.

Lead author Martha Clare Morris underlined that study participants who, on average, ate 1.3 servings of leafy greens daily had brains that looked 11 years younger than the brains of those who rarely ate their veggies.

Leafy Greens Seem to Delay Age-related Cognitive Decline

The latest research included 960 participants within the 58-99 age bracket. No participant had been diagnosed with dementia at the beginning of the study. Volunteers also submitted their answers to questionnaires about their diet plan, eating habit, and favorite foods over a period of 5 years.

Researchers asked participants how often they consumed collards, salt, spinach, and kale. Volunteers were also required to take annual test to assess their cognitive ability and memory.

Participants were tracked over a period of 10 years. Study authors found that those who routinely consumed leafy greens saw their brains’ cognitive decline rate slow down by 11 years.

The findings appeared in the journal Neurology.

However, there are other ways to keep our brains in good shape over the years. Study authors noted that the nutrients that keep the brain young are found in other types of food too. For instance, there are many dietary sources of vitamin E, not just leafy greens.
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