Eat your greens!
While Popeye’s bulging biceps and bursting buttons may have been little more than a way of encouraging kids to eat their spinach, there is something resonant about the iconic image. Of course we can’t see our muscles perform acrobatics upon ingestion of iron-rich vegetables, but it’s almost as if our bodies break out in quiet little happy dances each time we eat leafy greens.
Greens are one of the best foods to eat regularly; they are rich in fiber and offer many vitamins, minerals, and plant-based compounds that are thought to help protect the body from heart disease, diabetes and possibly even cancer. A new study finds that people who eat one to two servings of leafy vegetables a day may experience fewer memory problems and other cognitive declines. The study, part of the Memory and Aging Project at Washington University in St. Louis, finds that those who included 1.3 servings a day of these leafy goodies into their diet slowed down their cognitive rate of decline to a point where it was the equivalent of them being 11 years younger (compared with those who didn't eat the greens).
Furthermore, leafy greens are low in carbohydrates, sodium, fat and cholesterol. With that in mind, it couldn't hurt to eat more leafy greens; here's where to start.
(This story was originally published in March, 2014. It has been updated with more recent information.)