Written by Gurleen Khaira
Whilst some find salad tasteful, others struggle to swallow their leafy greens. Of course it is no secret that salad provides many health benefits for our body, however you might be surprised to hear the influence certain greens have on your brain health.
To investigate the impact of salad on your brain, a group of researchers conducted a study of 960 people aged between 58-99. The researchers asked participants to complete daily surveys recording how often they had certain foods, including lettuce, spinach, kale, and collard greens. The participants were also given tests which examined their memory, spatial ability, and perceptual speed for an average of five years.
The researchers found that those who ate more leafy greens ( one to two servings a day) faced slower rates of memory and cognitive decline. Evenmore so, the type of memory decline prevented is associated with dementia. Therefore, eating your greens can prove to be beneficial for your brain health and may delay the development of dementia.
But what is it about these greens that helps our memory health? Well, some greens contain high levels of Vitamin E, which is known to reduce inflammation in the brain, and prevent the build-up of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s. Leafy greens also have high levels of Vitamin K, which has been shown to prevent brain decline. Overall, researchers credit the levels of lutein, folate, and beta carotene in these greens for the benefit given to brain health. Looking at lutein in particular, a study of 94 people found that those with higher levels of lutein had better relational memory.
We have mentioned many nutrients in greens, but the main take-away is that salad can prove to be beneficial for your brain health. So, whether you like it or not, it may be time to do the grocery shopping and get some fresh greens.