London [UK]: A salad a day may keep Dementia away, as a new research suggests that eating vegetable salad every day could help stave-off dementia by boosting memory.
According to Express.co.uk, the findings suggest that eating about one serving per day of green, leafy vegetables may be linked to a slower rate of brain aging - the equivalent of keeping our brain 11 years younger.
The team of researchers discovered that eating greens regularly reduced the likelihood of the symptoms of dementia or diseases that cause it, such as Alzheimer's.
While talking about the study, its author, Professor Martha Clare Morris, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago noted that this research highlighted the importance of diet.
She explained, "Adding a daily serving of green, leafy vegetables to your diet may be a simple way to foster your brain health. 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."
The study involved 960 people with an average age of 81, who did not have dementia and were followed for an average of 4.7 years.
The participants completed a questionnaire about how often they ate certain foods, and had their thinking and memory skills tested every year during that time.
The survey asked how often and how many servings they ate of three green, leafy vegetables- spinach, with a serving being a half cup of cooked spinach; kale, collards or greens, half cup cooked; and lettuce salad, with a serving of one cup raw.
The participants were divided into five equal groups based on how often they ate the foods.
The people in the top serving group ate an average of about 1.3 servings per day. Those in the lowest serving group ate on average 0.1 helpings per day.
Overall, the participants' scores on the thinking and memory tests declined over time at a rate of 0.08 standardised units per year.
Over 10 years of follow-up, the rate of decline for those who ate the most leafy greens, was slower by 0.05 standardised units per year than the rate for those who ate the least leafy greens.
But Professor Morris noted that the study doesn't prove that eating green, leafy vegetables slows brain aging, it only shows an association.
She also warned that the study cannot rule out other possible reasons for the link.
The study was published in the journal, Neurology.