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10 foods and beverages that boost brainpower

By: Sidney Stevens on Aug. 21, 2017, 4:10 p.m.
fresh spinach in a bowl

Photo: Alena Haurylik/Shutterstock

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Like beets, this dark, leafy green — along with kale, collard greens, some lettuces and mustard greens — is high in brain-enhancing nitrates. Another reason to load up on leafy foods is their abundance of antioxidant vitamins and plant nutrients, including lutein, folate (vitamin B9), beta carotene and especially vitamin K. Often called the “forgotten” vitamin, K helps prevent calcium from accumulating and hardening in arteries (including those in the brain).

One study followed the eating habits of 950 older adults (average age 81) for five years. Those who consumed one to two servings of leafy, dark greens a day for five years had the cognitive power of someone 11 years younger than those who ate none.