Eat the apple a day... and a salad too!
March 12, 2018
Steve Trapasso, Program Coordinator for Seeds of Hope’s Garden-Based Nutrition Education Program
That’s right, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology, eating just one serving of leafy greens a day can slow cognitive decline in aging adults. More specifically, over five years, in a linear mixed scientific model adjusted for age, sex, education, participation in cognitive activities, physical activities, smoking, and seafood and alcohol consumption; consumption of green leafy vegetables was associated with slower cognitive decline.
The green leafy vegetables most associated with these results include all types of lettuce, green spinach, kale and collard greens. These greens contain phylloquinone (One of the K Vitamins, essential for blood clotting), lutein (carotenoid, keeps eyes hydrated and protects against atherosclerosis) , nitrate (in small doses it widens arteries, allowing blood to flow more freely), folate (decreases odds of birth defects in newborns, can prevent stroke), α-tocopherol (one of the E Vitamins, helps prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels), and kaempferol (flavonol, reduce the risk of various cancers). These nutrients are likely to work together only in foods to have the effect the study suggests. When these nutrients are synthesized and singled out, taken in supplement form, they do not have the same effect.
Twice during the study researchers gave cognitive tests covering memory, spatial ability and perceptual speed, those who ate the most leafy greens had a mental acuity equivalent to 11 years younger than those who had little or no leafy greens intake.
Seeds of Hope has been preaching “A Salad a day” since we started our nutrition education programs in 2014. We have nothing against the apple, but studies like these prove a salad a day can make you younger in mind and reduce risk of ailments in old age. We regularly make healthful, delicious, affordable salads in our cooking classes, accompanying them with healthy homemade dressings ranging from garlicky lemon olive oil to balsamic to ranch. Visit our website or facebook page for the latest class schedule.