Do you ever wonder what the heck so-called government “experts” are thinking when they dream up nutrition advice for us to follow? Yeah, me too.
Take for example their recommendation to eat FEWER vegetables after age 51.
Talk about bad advice!
Veggies… and LOTS of them… are essential at every stage of your life. And some are perhaps even more important as you get older.
Take leafy greens for example. They are some of the most nutritious vegetables you can get your hands on. But if you’re a senior, they could be more critical than ever.
In fact, research has found that older people who eat more leafy greens have better memory and are significantly less likely to develop dementia.
In other words, loading up on leafy greens could literally slash your brain age.
Slash your brain age by going green
At Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, researchers tracked 960 people—ages 58 to 99—for up to 10 years.
They carefully followed what each volunteer ate and tested their thinking and memory skills along the way.
According to the breakthrough study published in the journal Neurology, just one daily serving of leafy greens can improve memory and thinking skills. And it can help slow the mental decline that we see with aging.
Compared to folks who ate virtually no leafy greens, those who ate a serving every day had, on average, a brain age of 11 years younger.
So what counts as a leafy green?
If you’re like many folks, you wonder what exactly counts as a leafy green. Obvious ones include various kinds of lettuces from romaine and butter lettuce to arugula and spinach. Darker greens are generally more nutritious.
But some veggies which count as leafy greens aren’t so obvious.
Broccoli heads the list of unexpected leafy greens.
Although we eat the flower buds and stems of broccoli, it’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family, along with kale, mustard greens, collard greens, and cabbage. All of which are especially rich in nutrients that protect against some cancers and enhance heart and brain health.
Swiss chard, beet greens, dandelion greens, and watercress are some of the other often overlooked leafy greens. If you find them too tough or unappetizing to eat raw in a salad, cooking them can make them tender.
How to reverse brain age (& more) with leafy greens
To get the therapeutic effects of leafy greens, the daily recommended serving is one cup of raw greens or a half-cup of cooked ones. (Feel free to eat more, of course.)
Buy your leafy greens fresh when possible and always choose organic.
But let’s face it, if you’re not a big veggie fan eating more is a tall order. After all, who gobbles down MORE of things they don’t like?
The good news is if leafy greens don’t appeal to you, there’s a good chance it’s just because you haven’t had them fixed in a way you like them yet. So it’s worth trying some new ways of eating them.
Following are five suggestions to get you started…
- Add kale and other tough leaves to soups or casseroles (one of MY favorite tricks). Or sauté the greens with a little olive oil instead.
- When cooking greens, steaming them is a great way to preserve taste AND nutrients. Once they’re on your plate, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top and season with a touch of Himalayan salt, pepper, or other spices you like.
- When making salads, toss greens with some extra virgin olive oil, a vinegar you like, and season with your favorite spices.
- “Hide” leafy greens inside burgers or meatloaf… they’ll turn out tender and tasty.
- Tear kale into smaller pieces, season with your favorite spices and bake in the oven to make crispy and delicious kale chips.
Experiment to find the perfect palette pleasing recipes. And then start protecting your memory, and reversing your brain age, with this simple kitchen hack.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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