RSSGreens are the ultimate brain food

Posted on Tue, 16 Jan 18

Greens are the ultimate brain food

A new study in the journal Neurology found that people who consume 1-2 servings of green leafy vegetables daily have a cognitive age 11-years younger. 

Previous studies have suggested that, compared to other vegetables, green leafy vegetables have the strongest association with slowed cognitive decline. 

To examine this relationship in more detail a prospective study looked at green leafy vegetable consumption and cognitive decline as well as nutrients and bioactives that are rich in green leafy vegetables, including lutein, vitamin K (phylloquinone), nitrate, folate, α-tocopherol, β-carotene, and the flavonoid kaempferol.

Green leafy vegetables were associated with slower cognitive decline, with those in the highest quintile of intake (about 1-2 servings daily) equivalent of being 11 years younger in age. Higher intakes of each of the nutrients and bioactives, except β-carotene, were individually associated with slower cognitive decline. 

“Consumption of green leafy vegetables may help to slow decline in cognitive abilities with older age, perhaps due to the neuroprotective actions of lutein, folate, β-carotene, and phylloquinone,” commented the study investigators. “The addition of a daily serving of green leafy vegetables to one’s diet may be a simple way to contribute to brain health.”

The green leafy vegetable items and their serving sizes assessed in the study were spinach (1/2 cup cooked), kale/collards/greens (1/2 cup cooked), and lettuce salad (1 cup raw).


  1. Morris MC, Wang Y, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Dawson-Hughes B, Booth SL. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology. 2017 Dec 20. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815. [Epub ahead of print]

Tags: Green Leafy Vegetables, Dementia, Brain Aging

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