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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vegetables Help Brain Function

As if you really needed more health reasons, here is more good news about eating your vegetables.

The low-down is this:

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.

Those eating more than two servings per day saw a 40% lower decline in mental function.

The best news is that their definition of a "serving" is quite small: only 1 cup for leafy greens - such as lettuce, spinach, and kale - and 1/2 cup of other chopped vegetables. It should be relatively easy for anyone to eat 1 cup of vegetables per day.

I love this news considering that the salad I make at home is typically about four to five cups of lettuce/spinach and one-and-a-half to two cups of other vegetables, like carrots, radishes, cucumber, celery, and broccoli. Along with that, I typically eat at least two cups of vegetables with each meal. It's really not all that hard to increase your vegetable intake; just cut out some of the rice, pasta, and bread that you eat and add some steamed vegetables. Your local grocer likely sells some nice frozen blends that'll keep things interesting. If you really can't stand vegetables, toss a bit of tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), soy sauce, or hot sauce on them. Add a bit of olive oil to get some fat which will help your body absorb the nutrients in the vegetables. And potatoes do not count as vegetables. Nor do French Fries or ketchup, if I really need to tell you that.