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Mother Was Right: Eat Your Vegetables (They're Good for Your Brain)

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:13am
Martha Clare Morris, associate professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, has been observing the effects of diet on aging and the brain. She and her team have found that eating vegetables, especially green leafy ones, every day can make a big difference in the brains of those who crunched through kale, spinach, lettuce, chard, and other green leafies and those who didn't: faster thinking. Or, as she put it, the equivalent of being five years younger in age for the veggie-consumers.

The study involved six years of observation of 3,718 participants who were 65 and older and is part of the Chicago Health and Aging Project.

The reason? "Morris suspects that vegetables may help protect memory and thinking speed because they contain high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help reduce the damage caused by free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules generated by normal metabolism that can damage neurons in the brain and contribute to dementia." These research results were reported in the Oct. 24 issue of the journal Neurology.

In another report issued by the AMA last year, Morris concluded that eating fish at least once a week increases brain fitness, too, equaling a brain-age three-to-four years younger. Fruit-eaters did not experience such brain-related benefits.

I think by now we all know that green leafy veggies and fish are good diet choices. We didn't know that they could make that much difference. Berkeley Professor of Integrative Biology, Marion Diamond, has been saying this for quite some time, however.

Technorati tags: cognition, brain, Alzheimer's, dementia, memory, brain fitness, diet
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