- Eat your greens is such a clichè…
- But new research shows it does something to your brain…
- Why a cabbage could be the key to prevent ageing
A lot has changed in the world since I was a kid.
No doubt, since you were one, too.
By that I’m not trying to say that you’re old!
But I’m guessing you’re at a stage in life where you really care about your health.
Whereas young people don’t generally give two hoots and probably don’t read The People’s Doctor [cue: an avalanche of angry emails from young readers.]
But if there’s one constant in life…
Something that’s not changed at all in 40, 50, 60, 70 years….
Something which binds you to the youth of today…
It’s this phrase:
“EAT YOUR GREENS!”
It was said by my parents, and by their parents, and I say it to my kids today.
And they always tut or roll their eyes.
Has there ever been a phrase that so irritates children?
It’s such a cliché, right?
Everyone knows it!
But maybe all this time we’ve been lecturing the wrong age group. Because while it’s important for the young, it’s even MORE important for us as we get older.
And not necessarily in the way that you think.
New research is showing that there’s a substance in leafy green veg that does something powerful to your brain, keeping it younger and more active.
Yes, a cabbage, of all things, could be the font of youth!
Let me explain…
The big green crisis
Boring and obvious the advice may be, but we adults don’t eat enough greens.
According to a survey a few years ago, only 31% of people aged 19-64 eat the five portions of fruit and veg recommended for good long-term health.
An even smaller chunk of those people are likely to be eating their greens in large amounts. By ‘greens’ I mean green leafy vegetables like cabbage, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli and swiss chard.
Which is a shame…
Because inside these foods is a nutrient called lutein.
Your body cannot make this stuff. It must come from your diet.
And it goes to two important places…
First, your eyes, where it accumulates, helping maintain better vision as you age. This is why lutein is often a key ingredient in eye care supplements.
But in more recent studies it has been shown that it also accumulates in your brain, increasing its processing speed and boosting your memory.
Research published only last month by researchers at the University of Illinois showed that middle-aged people with higher levels of lutein had the neural responses of far younger people.
This backs up the conclusions of a study in 2015 by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
They said that eating more spinach, kale and mustard greens could help slow the rate cognitive decline.
And by the way, cognitive decline can begin in your early 30s, so it’s not just something people should worry about late in life.
Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., leader of the research team said this:
“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.”
With dementia and Alzheimer’s an increasing problem for our ageing society, lutein could be one of your best – and most accessible – natural preventatives.
Easy ways to get lutein
Adding raw, steamed or lightly boiled greens to meals is the most obvious way to get lutein into your diet.
But if it’s tricky to get into daily meals, or you simply dislike the taste, you can always try juicing up some greens with some fruits and perhaps a dash of manuka honey if you have a sweet tooth.
On top of the green vegetables I mentioned earlier, you can also get decent amounts of lutein in avocados, asparagus, eggs, beets, peas, carrots, celery, tomatoes, oranges, melons and grapefruit.
So even if you loathe the green stuff, there are other ways to get similar benefits.
In fact, why not try a kale, orange and melon smoothie to get a combined super-brain-power hit?
The truth is, all fruit and vegetables are good for you, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t always get the really healthy stuff into your diet.
Just keep eating it!
For stronger eyes and a younger brain….
As for keeping your eyesight strong and youthful, I’d suggest you take a quick look at this blog post on The People’s Doctor website: The Bionic Eyes that Could Help You See Like a 21-Year Old
I’ll share an amazing new eye-care breakthrough and tell you why a fish with an elephant’s nose could restore your vision. Then I’ll reveal three simple things you can do today to strengthen your eyes.
And if you’re particularly keen to keep your brain young and active (aren’t we all?) remember that omega 3 oils are vital too.
Our recommended shortcut for omega 3 oils is to take krill-based supplement over and above fish oil. That’s because krill oil has more antioxidant strength thanks to something called ‘astaxanthin’, which you don’t get in regular fish oil.
This nutrient helps protect and stimulate your brain for better mood, sharper memory and clearer thinking.
That’s it from me today. Have a great weekend – let’s hope the sun stays out!
Until next time, stay healthy…