Seniors - Boost Brain Power with More Leafy Greens

leafy greens

Eat your vegetables. It’s the kind of dinner-table mantra parents have been serving up for decades. But that’s just sound nutritional advice for kids, right?

Actually, you need your veggies too. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to support growth when you’re young. But new research shows that veggies, especially the leafy-green kind like kale, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli, can help protect your brain from aging.

For example, at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, researchers wanted to find out if vegetable consumption had an impact on memory and thinking linked with aging. They followed a group of 960 seniors for about five years, and tracked their vegetable consumption from the school salad bar.

They found that the people who ate the most leafy greens, 1 to 2 servings per day, had healthier brains than the people who skipped the veggies. And it was significant. Seniors who ate the most leafy greens scored better on memory and cognition tests. Eating leafy greens may help make your brain 10 years younger than it really is.

Wondering how to fit more leafy greens in your diet? You could go the old-school route and start eating a lot more salad and cooking at home. But if that sounds like something you’re not going to be too excited about, we can help.

Our Senior-Friendly menu includes lots of healthy food made from fresh ingredients, including main courses with leafy green vegetables on the side. You’ll find leafy greens in delicious entrees like Mac And Cheese with Rotini Pasta, Spinach And Vegetables, Vegetable Caponata with Orzo & Spinach, Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Garlic Green Beans - Individual Meal and many others.

“Adding a daily serving of green, leafy vegetables to your diet may be a simple way to foster your brain health,” says Dr. Martha Clare Morris, who led the study at Rush University. “Projections show sharp increases in the percentage of people with dementia as the oldest age groups continue to grow in number, so effective strategies to prevent dementia are critical."