Eating Greens is Good for Your Brain


It turns our your mom was right when she told you to eat your greens. spinachMore evidence has been found that greens are good for the brain and it’s not just for the elderly. Building on previous studies that showed dietary carotenoids can slow cognitive decline in older participants, a group of researchers at the University of Illinois sought to determine their effect on younger participants.

The study details published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience focused on early protection in a group of 25-45 year-olds in hopes to show that eating greens in early and middle adulthood could slow cognitive decline during the onset of older age. The study measured levels of two naturally occurring carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that are found in abundance in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach.

Lutein is the predominant carotenoid in human brain tissue and increased lutein has a positive connection with better cognitive function in older adults. The study showed a diet rich in carotenoids may serve a protective role in typical aging effects.

“While some age-related cognitive decline is to be expected in healthy aging, our data suggest that these effects may be less pronounced among adults with greater retinal carotenoid status, a marker of dietary patterns characterized by greater intake of green and leafy vegetables,” the report stated. “Furthermore, these practices may provide neuro-cognitive benefit before the onset of older age, in early to middle adulthood.”

It turns out you are never too young to heed your mom’s advice.

Click here to read the study

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