Leafy Greens and Dementia

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spinach, kale and other greens may be a valuable weapon in the fight against dementia. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at a study by Illinois researchers on the subject.

Dr. Hill:

A single serving of leafy green vegetables each day may help keep dementia away, according to recent research.

Researchers at Chicagos Rush University Medical Center evaluated the eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years.

Those who consumed one or two servings of foods such as spinach, kale, mustard greens and/or collards daily experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no leafy greens at all.

The brain benefits associated with dark leafy greens likely stem from several key nutrients, particularly vitamin K.

In the study, researchers focused on 954 men and women whose average age was 81. Every year for almost five years on average, participants completed a 144-item food and beverage questionnaire and underwent 19 mental skill tests.

The team determined that those who routinely consumed one or two servings of leafy greens every day demonstrated the mental capacity of someone more than a decade younger, compared with those who never ate leafy greens.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.