Article from Blue Zones
Salad lovers, rejoice! A salad a day keeps dementia at bay. A recent study published in Neurology found that people who consumed one to two servings of leafy green vegetables each day experienced fewer memory problems and cognitive decline than people who rarely ate leafy greens. Researchers studied 960 adults with no signs of dementia.
Lead researcher Martha Clare Morris and her team of nutritional epidemiologists at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center estimate that people who consume about 1.3 servings of leafy green vegetables per day had brains that were about 11 years younger, compared with those who consumed fewer servings of leafy green vegetables. The study controlled for smoking, physical activity, and other factors, but more research is needed to determine if the relationship causes extended life expectancy.
“Daily consumption of leafy greens may be a simple and effective way to protect against loss in memory and other cognitive abilities.”— Martha Clare Morris, PhD
More than 150 varieties of wild greens, such as purslane, dandelion, and arugula, grow all over the island of Ikaria. These rich, dark, wild mountain greens are a great source of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as carotenoids – the colorful pigments the body converts to Vitamin A. Eating a cup of greens daily seemed to be one of the keys to a longer life in Ikaria. Centenarians in all of the blue zones regions have access to leafy greens and hearty vegetables and they make up a large portion of their daily diets. In North America, we have plenty of these wild greens available and we also have widely accessible cultivated greens like collard, mustard greens, beet greens, and kale that have nearly the same plenitude of nutrients.