STUDY: One salad per day can protect your brain against aging

Credit: MGN

(CBS) -- Data from new research suggests that eating one salad per day can help protect your brain against aging.

A study published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology discovered that people who ate at least one serving of green, leafy vegetables per day had a slower rate of decline in tests targeting thinking skills, in comparison to those who never or rarely ate these vegetables.

"Older adults who consumed leafy greens in their diet -- the equivalent of about a cup and a half a day -- they have lower risk of developing memory deficits associated with dementia," study author Sarah Booth, PhD, of the Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University told CBS News.

The study, conducted over a period of five years, followed about 960 people with an average age of 81 who did not have dementia. The participants were tested yearly on their thinking and memory skills and completed a questionnaire about how often they ate certain foods.

Booth said that though the study doesn't prove that those vegetables slow brain aging, eating them regularly is still a good idea.

"There are so many other chronic diseases that the onset and progression is delayed from consuming leafy greens because the leafy greens contain many nutrients," she said.

Researchers reported that it's best to choose greens with dark leaves because the darker the leaves the more nutrients they have.