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Eating More Veggies -- Not Fruit -- Keeps Your Brain Young

Interesting that eating more vegetables is the answer to lessening cognitive declines in seniors versus fruits, according to a study that compared the diets of some 3,700 seniors living in Chicago. To judge their mental acuity, researchers reviewed completed food frequency questionnaires and gave each patient at least two cognitive tests over a six-year time frame.

Yet compared to those eating less than one daily serving of vegetables, patients who consumed nearly three portions per day slowed their cognitive decline by some 40 percent, translating to a "brain gain" of some five years. What's more, the older patients were, the more benefit they derived from eating more than two servings of vegetables daily.

Of the vegetables patients ate, no surprise, green leafy vegetables high in folic acid were the most effective natural foods of all. However, fruit consumption wasn't associated at all with any change in cognitive ability. Not sure, if that's because older folks ate fewer oranges or strawberries, both fruits rich in folate or some other reason.

The trick about eating vegetables: Paying close to attention to your body's unique nutritional type to determine the type and amount. One easy way to consume the number of vegetables you need is to juice them regularly.

Rush University Medical Center October 23, 2006

Neurology Vol. 67, No. 8, October 24, 2006: 1370-1376