Which food was the most helpful in reducing buildup in the brain? Green leafy vegetables 🌿.
About the study
The study, published in the journal Neurology, examined the brains of 581 people who each donated their body as part of the Memory and Aging Project at Rush University. The project, which began in 1997, has been collecting yearly diet information on participants.
The current study analyzed diet data from 2014, for an average of six to seven years, and then compared that information with the number of plaques and tangles in each person’s brain at autopsy.
Looking at brain tissue to determine the specific level of dementia markers was a unique part of the study.
Green leafy vegetables to the rescue
People who ate greater amounts of pastries, sweets, and fried and fast foods had much higher levels of plaques and tangles in their brain tissue, the study found.
While those whose diet consisted of more green leafy vegetables showed brain tissue that looked nearly 19 years younger in plaque buildup when compared with those who ate one or fewer servings per week.
Green leafy vegetables have higher levels of bioactive compounds including vitamins, minerals, flavonoids (antioxidants) and carotenoids (pigments in the skin of vegetables).
“The combination of different nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables make them unique. They are very rich in many bioactives, flavonoids and lutein, which is important for brain health.” Aggarwal, lead researcher
“We still need to really tease apart what exactly is happening,” she said. “But overall, these diets like the Mediterranean diet which are rich in leafy green vegetables have the essential nutrients and bioactives that reduce overall inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain leading to less accumulation of amyloid plaques and tangles that can cause dementia.”
The nutritional benefits of leafy greens
“When it comes to leafy greens, you get a green light to eat as much as you want — that’s how good they are for you!”Joy Bauer Registered Nutritionist
“Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are rich in fiber which is an important nutrient for weight loss and maintenance because it keeps you feeling full and helps control hunger.
Fiber can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and help to temper blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals. This lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Leafy greens contain a lots of water, which helps keep you hydrated and contributes to beautiful skin and hair.
Some leafy greens, like collards and kale, are particularly rich in calcium, which helps keep your teeth and bones strong and reduces your overall risk for osteoporosis. Calcium also contributes to muscle function and blood-pressure management.
Leafy greens contain potassium as well, which further protects against osteoporosis and helps manage blood-pressure levels.
The antioxidants like vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin that are contained in leafy greens may help reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen too; collagen is a major component of cartilage that aids in joint flexibility, may reduce your risk of arthritis, and keeps your skin and hair healthy and beautiful. Research shows vitamin C may also slow bone loss and decrease the risk of fractures.
Leafy greens that contain beta-carotene, such as collard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard, contribute to the growth and repair of the body’s tissues. Beta-carotene may also protect your skin against sun damage.
Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss. And since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may help ward off depression and improve mood.
The vitamin E found in green leafy vegetables works with vitamin C to keep skin healthy as you age. This vitamin also helps protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays and may help reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.”
Eating leafy greens daily helps keep minds sharp.
“To age well, we must eat well. There has been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain. The latest good news: A 2018 study published in Neurology and the US National Library of Medicine. National Institute of Health finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.” Source: npr.org
Green leafy vegetables many ways
There are many ways in which these super greens can be incorporated into our diets more frequently. Make an easy spinach salad. Add greens to soups and stews. Add them in eggs such as omelettes and quiche. Add them to pasta and rice. The possibilities are endless and the results are stupendous for our health 🌿❤️.
Leafy greens how food affects our health by Joy Bauer
4 thoughts on “Wednesday Wisdom. The benefits of green leafy greens 🌿”
Love veggies! Thanks for a yummy post😃
So many delicious dishes made from Green Leafy vegetables!
And so good for you!
Definitely preparing more greens after reading your post.
I’m not surprised, and most delighted!