Green, leafy vegetables 'may slow memory decline'

Dementia symptoms

Participants were divided into groups based on their consumption of green, leafy vegetables.

Eating plenty of leafy green vegetables every day could ward off dementia in later life, new research suggests.

The researchers found that consumption of green leafy vegetables was correlated with slower cognitive decline in a model adjusted for confounding variables; those in the highest quintile of intake (median 1.3 servings/day) had a decline rate that was β = 0.05 standardized units slower, equivalent to being 11 years younger in age. This is one of the most feared aspects of aging, however, the study has stated that the condition can be staved off in some people if they incorporate a significant amount of green vegetables in their diet.

Dr Martha Morris, of Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, led the study published in the journal Neurology.

Researchers surveyed 960 people with an average age of 81 who had not been diagnosed with any form of dementia. The study can not prove that the vegetables caused the brain to stay healthy for longer, but the scientists are planning a trial of whether switching diet in... Their thinking and memory skills were then tested yearly, over a course of 4.7 years.

"Projections show sharp increases in the percentage of people with dementia as the oldest age groups continue to grow in number, so effective strategies to prevent dementia are critical".

They found those who ate the most greens were 11 years younger in brain age compared to those who ate the least. Those who consumed the most ate around 1.3 servings a day and those who consumed the fewest ate around 0.1 servings a day.

The researchers found the results persisted even after other factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity, were taken into consideration.

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