Vegetables are good for your brain

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet
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Vegetables are good for your brain

Post by NHE » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:47 am

Although not specific to MS, this article is interesting none the less and diet modifications based on these results may prove helpful for MS patients as well as the general population. NHE

Study: Vegetables May Keep Brains Young
By Lindsey Tanner, AP Medical Writer
October 24, 2006, 1:52 AM EDT

CHICAGO -- New research on vegetables and aging gives mothers another reason to say "I told you so." It found that eating vegetables appears to help keep the brain young and may slow the mental decline sometimes associated with growing old.

On measures of mental sharpness, older people who ate more than two servings of vegetables daily appeared about five years younger at the end of the six-year study than those who ate few or no vegetables.

The research in almost 2,000 Chicago-area men and women doesn't prove that vegetables reduce mental decline, but it adds to mounting evidence pointing in that direction. The findings also echo previous research in women only.

Green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale and collards appeared to be the most beneficial. The researchers said that may be because they contain healthy amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that is believed to help fight chemicals produced by the body that can damage cells.

Vegetables generally contain more vitamin E than fruits, which were not linked with slowed mental decline in the study. Vegetables also are often eaten with healthy fats such as salad oils, which help the body absorb vitamin E and other antioxidants, said lead author Martha Clare Morris, a researcher at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

The fats from healthy oils can help keep cholesterol low and arteries clear, which both contribute to brain health.

The study was published in this week's issue of the journal Neurology and funded with grants from the National Institute on Aging.

"This is a sound paper and contributes to our understanding of cognitive decline," said Dr. Meir Stampfer of Harvard's School of Public Health.

"The findings specific for vegetables and not fruit add further credibility that this is not simply a marker of a more healthful lifestyle," said Stampfer, who was not involved in the research.

The research involved 1,946 people aged 65 and older who filled out questionnaires about their eating habits. A vegetable serving equaled about a half-cup chopped or one cup if the vegetable was a raw leafy green like spinach.

They also had mental function tests three times over about six years; about 60 percent of the study volunteers were black.

The tests included measures of short-term and delayed memory, which asked these older people to recall elements of a story that had just been read to them. The participants also were given a flashcard-like exercise using symbols and numbers.

Overall, people did gradually worse on these tests over time, but those who ate more than two vegetable servings a day had about 40 percent less mental decline than those who ate few or no vegetables. Their test results resembled what would be expected in people about five years younger, Morris said,

The study also found that people who ate lots of vegetables were more physically active, adding to evidence that "what's good for your heart is good for your brain," said neuroscientist Maria Carillo, director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer's Association.

The study examined mental decline but did not look at whether any of the study volunteers developed Alzheimer's disease.

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Post by tzootsi » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:18 am

Amen! A good diet is key to controlling MS and many other conditions. A dinner of wild salmon with ginger, kale, sweet potato and a green salad is about as perfect as you can get. Terry Wahls website gets into the veggies for MS issue in great depth.

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Post by MSConqueror » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:08 pm

Good post! I agree. I eat consume of vegetables but I choose to juice. If you haven't tried juicing, I highly recommend it.

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Veggies forever!!!

Post by Rebecca » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:27 pm

Good post. I have been thinking about the benefits of veggies lately myself and I couldn't agree with you more that veggies are a woman's (and a guy's) best friend. Not only do veggies enhance the brain, they make you look good and, I think, help avoid unwanted belly fat!!!

Getting rid of that belly fat is key!!! LOL Seriously, I find if I eat too many fruits, instead of focusing on the veggies, I do gain weight. At the same time, when I look up nutritional values for fruits and veggies, the veggies win hands down.

Love the post -- always timely and a good reminder.

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