Want to Know the Secret to Living Longer? Eating Salad May Add Up to Eleven Years to Your Life Expectancy
You’ve probably spent a good part of your childhood being pressured into eating your vegetables at the dinner table before getting your treat – don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people grow up hearing that salads and greens, no matter how boring they may be, are good for health and provide the essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.
Now, researches are claiming that a few extra helpings of salad every day don’t just improve your cognitive functioning but also increase your life expectancy by a whole 11 years!
Brain Diseases on the Rise
Brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are on the rise as a growing number of population across the world becomes more and more forgetful with old age. In an effort to preserve their memory and youthfulness, people are turning towards expensive supplements and diets like MIND which incorporates foods packed with omega-3 fats, essential nutrients and antioxidants to keep the brain healthy and ward off any diseases.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 16 million people could be affected by the disease by 2050 if no preventive measures are taken. In the wake of an increasing risk of Alzheimer’s, researchers are putting in their best effort to come up with new ways to prevent memory decline or a mass mental health crisis.
Salad Makes You 11 Years Younger, Study Says
A team of doctors at the Rush University Medical center in Chicago have discovered a new way to preserve memory and increase life expectancy by making a simple lifestyle tweak: eating more salad.
A research conducted at the medical center under Martha Clare Morris, a Nutritional epidemiologist, found out that participants who piled on more than one serving of leafy greens onto their plate every day were far less likely to experience a cognitive decay than those who didn’t eat green vegetables such as spinach and kale. In fact, veggie lovers who don’t shy away from a big salad every-now-and-then are able to add as much as 11 years to their life expectancy in comparison to people who do not get enough leafy greens in their diets.
960 people, aging from 58 to 99 years, participated in the study for 10 years during which they were asked to fill out questionnaires about their eating habits. One of the questions asked the participants about their daily consumption of leafy greens like collard greens, kale and spinach. They were also asked to take several mental tests to assess their memory and cognitive health.
These participants were a part of the research center’s Memory and Aging Project, and none of them was diagnosed with dementia before getting enrolled in the study. Depending on the subjects’ consumption of green salads, they were divided into two groups to determine how their diets impacted memory and cognition.
The first group consumed an average of 0.1 servings of leafy greens a day, whereas the second consumed 1.3 servings every day. After 10 years, researches did a follow-up on the two groups only to discover that the participants who ate more than one serving of leafy greens prevented cognitive decline and memory decay. Scientists said that this group’s mental age was equivalent to almost 11 years younger than their real age.
Taking Other Factors Into Consideration
There were other factors such as physical activity, lifestyle choices and smoking and drinking habits which could have a drastic impact on the participants’ cognitive health, and people who ate more salads generally gravitated towards making healthier choices in life.
All factors associated with mental health such as weight, age, diet, physical activity, smoking and drinking were taken into consideration. Hence, the study concluded that the consumption of leafy greens may not be the only preventive factor against brain aging. Moreover, the author of the study says that most of the nutrients in the leafy greens can also be found in other foods as well. For example, vitamin E, a scientifically proven antioxidant that prevents memory loss, is more abundant in nuts and seeds than in spinach and kale.
Although the observations made by the study didn’t provide any solid evidence for a link between the consumption of green vegetables and memory, the scientists still believe that adding an extra serving of salad will be nothing but beneficial for your health.
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