A whole-foods plant-based diet can be a wonderful part of our healthy lifestyle. In addition, it is great for the planet as well. But what is it about vegetables that have such a dramatic effect on our brain health? Let’s look at the research to find out.
In a study of 960 participants from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, the authors looked at the effects of 3 specific green leafy vegetables on memory. They included spinach, kale/collards/greens, and lettuce.
What the authors discovered was that participants consuming 1-2 servings per day of green leafy vegetables were equivalent to being 11 years younger on memory tests than those who rarely/never consumed them.
After adjusting for all sorts of variables, the authors noted that the 3 key ingredients responsible for this protective effect on memory were phylloquinone (Vitamin K1), lutein and folate.
Now, you do not need to supplement with any of these nutrients. A whole-foods, plant-based diet provides you with an abundance of these nutrients in vegetables like kale, spinach, edamame, asparagus.
The bottom line here is that the next time you get ready to eat, be sure to fill up half your plate with vegetables. It is an effective way to help keep your brain functioning well.