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Can Spinach Reduce the Risk of Dementia?

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerApril 29, 2015

We all know spinach plays a crucial role in physical health, but a new study found that it may also have a positive impact on the brain.


Researchers from Rush University found that those who consumed one serving of a green leafy vegetable like spinach each day, then had the same cognitive function as someone 11 years younger who did not eat any green leafy vegetables. Learn more about this study and what it means for Alzheimer’s prevention.

Spinach, Vitamin K and the Brain

A new study from Rush University in Chicago concluded that consuming just one serving of spinach daily can slow cognitive decline.

The researchers analyzed diets and cognitive function of 950 seniors with an average age of 81 over a period of five years, and found that those who ate at least one serving of green leafy vegetables had the same cognitive abilities as someone 11 years younger who never ate them.

Researchers believe that in addition to folate and beta-carotene found in these vegetables, vitamin K is also a major player in boosting brain health.

Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center and leader of the research team, said that: “No other studies have looked at vitamin K in relation to change in cognitive abilities over time, and only a limited number of studies have found some association with lutein.”

Leafy Greens for Brain Health

In addition to spinach, there are a number of other vegetables that may help slow down the aging process in the brain. They include:

  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Mustard greens
  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts

Morris sums up the importance of this study by stating:

“Since declining cognitive ability is central to Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, increasing consumption of green leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

Will you start eating more green leafy vegetables in an effort to ward off dementia? Or, have you already seen the positive effects of nutrition on brain health? Share your story with us in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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