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Study: Green Leafy Vegetables May Slow Cognitive Decline In Elderly

A new study has revealed that a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, berries, beans, and wine can slow cognitive decline and normal brain ageing. Although ageing and cognitive decline are inevitable, the study that was conducted at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago indicated that elderly who adhered to “Mind” diet were approximately 7.5 years younger cognitively over a period of about five years. This was in comparision to those who did not follow to this specified diet.

While commenting on a report in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Martha C. Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Centre and her team said, “The study findings suggest that the Mind diet substantially slows cognitive decline with age.” In an earlier study, researchers noted that findings from the diet that was under study in Rush University actually had profound effects of reducing the risk of one developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers claim that “Mind” or Mediterranean-Dash diet is designed to intervene with neurodegenerative delay. It is also a hybrid of a Mediterranean diet which is said to be rich in vegetables, some dietary approaches and olive oil that is aimed at halting high blood pressure. The diet that contains about 15 dietary components comes with some recommendations that include at least three servings of a salad, whole grains, any other vegetable, and a glass of wine on a daily basis. The diet also requires that one takes poultry, and beans at least two times in seven days. Fish should be eaten once in a week according to the Mind diet.

Those who subscribe to the Mind diet do not eat or limit the intake of unhealthy foods such as butter, margarine, red meat, pastries and sweets; cheese, and fast foods. If they are to continue living healthy, they highly consider eating fruits only found in the Mind diet menu.

Those that took part in the cognitive ability study were 960 adults aged 81.4 years on average. They recorded a slower decline in mental ability as compared to other elders who did not adhere to the strict diet. In a statement, nutritionist Morris said, “Everyone experiences decline with ageing; and Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the US which accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia’s cases.” While agreeing that there was significant progress from the study, she continued by saying, “There is still a great deal of study we need to do in this area, and I expect that we’ll make further modifications as the science on diet and the brain advances.”

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