People who eat these four vegetables: Kale, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, are on average 11 years younger mentally than people who don’t according to soon-to-be presented research from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). The study examined the nutrients in these vegetables that are responsible for preventing mental decline, and for the first time, linked vitamin K to better brain health.
Nutrients for brain health found in leafy greens
The study examined 950 people over a course of 5 years. Researchers found that those who regularly consumed vegetables loaded with vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene from vegetables had a mental age that was 11 years younger than people who didn’t eat those vegetables regularly.
Vitamin K breakthrough finding: According to Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D one of the researchers in this study: “Our study identified some very novel associations, No other studies have looked at vitamin K in relation to change in cognitive abilities over time.” Folate, and beta carotene have previously been shown in previous studies as potentially helpful for preventing cognitive decline, and a limited number of studies showed that lutein may be helpful. But this is the first study to link vitamin K with better brain health.
Other good sources of vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene
This study examined the benefit of eating kale, spinach, collard greens, and mustard greens for brain health. But you can eat practically any green foods to get these four super nutrients. You can also find these nutrients in other, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, so be sure to eat the rainbow!
Pro Tip: Vitamin K is fat-soluble. This means that for your body to be able to absorb it, you must eat a fat along with your vegetables. Salad oils or other dressings that contain fats work fine for salads, butter or any cooking oils works fine for your cooked vegetables.
More research is needed
The study showed that eating your leafy greens is associated with better brain health, but what isn’t yet understood is why it does. The researchers in this study would like to do further research to find out how these nutrients improve brain health. The effect of supplements containing vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene has also not been studied. Because of this, you should favor getting these nutrients from fruits and vegetables rather than supplements. Research on supplements has been spotty; and in many cases does not show the same benefits as getting nutrients from food.
Alkaline water shown to protect brain cells
Drinking alkaline water has also been shown to potentially protect brain cells. Most importantly, the reason alkaline water may protect brain cells has been discovered. Your brain produces large amounts of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) as a byproduct of glucose metabolism. When they reach excessive levels ROS’ will cause oxidation in the brain. That oxidation has been identified as a factor in the cognitive decline that leads to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. In lab studies, researcher showed that alkaline water neutralizes damaging ROS chemicals. Just like the study on green foods, more research is needed to confirm alkaline water benefits the brain.
The advantage that alkaline water has for brain health is that water passes right through the blood-brain barrier. Your brain protects itself from toxins using the blood brain barrier, it acts like a filter, it blocks most harmful substances, but some do get through. For example, the reason alcohol gets you drunk is because it is one of the substances that passes through the barrier. The blood-brain barrier is also believed to be the reason supplements don’t show any benefit for brain health, it probably blocks them, while allowing the nutrients from food to pass through.
Your brain, your body. Use it or lose it
Healthy diet is definitely an important part of brain health, but there is more you should be doing. To keep it sharp, you need to use your brain. Learn something new, or master subjects you already know something about. Research has shown that an active brain is more likely to be a healthy brain. The same goes for exercise, it also has a link to better brain health. Most likely, the reason exercise is good for your brain is that it helps you sleep better at night.
Did you know? When you sleep, your brain actually shrinks! That shrinkage allows the cerebral fluid surrounding the brain to be flushed out. That flushing action detoxifies your brain by flushing out all the metabolic wastes that your brain produces during the day.
For more information: Seven things you need to do every day for better brain health
Want to know if studies show that alkaline water can help you? Call us at 855 419-2840 for a free, no obligation healthy water consultation
Articles in a new light (Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: an analysis of population-based data : The Lancet Neurology)
Yan, H, , and et al. “The neuroprotective effects of electrolyzed reduced water and its model
water containing molecular hydrogen and Pt nanoparticles.” BMC Proceedings. Europeans Society for Animal Cell Technology, 22 Nov 2011. Web. 29 Oct 2013. <http://www.biomedcentral.com/1753-6561/5/S8/P69>.
Larson, E. et. al. “New Insights into the Dementia Epidemic” New England Journal of
Medicine 2013; 369:2275-2277 Web December 12, 2013 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1311405
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). “Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150330112227.htm>.