I’m a creature of habit, especially when it comes to my food: My breakfast is usually some kind of egg concoction, but I’ll have a salad every day come lunchtime. Usually it’s full of protein, veggies, and a treat (cheese), always atop of bed of leafy greens. But new research is giving my tired routine new life—literally.
Beyond the many already-known health benefits of salad, a new study found that eating one daily might improve the memory of older people by as much as 11 years, The Telegraph reports.
Those who regularly ate green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, or mixed greens had the memory of people significantly younger, the study found.
A team at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago conducted the research over 10 years by following 1,000 volunteers, predominantly in their eighties. Via a food questionnaire, researchers found those who regularly ate green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, or mixed greens had memory function common to people who are significantly younger. Furthermore, just half a cup of salad was enough to slow the rate of cognitive decline.
However, it’s important to note that “the study results do not prove that eating green, leafy vegetables slows brain aging, but it does show an association,” lead study author Martha Clare Morris, ScD, said in a press release. “The study cannot rule out other possible reasons for the link.”
But since leafy greens are super-healthy in their own right, consider the findings just another reason enough to hunker down with a bowl of salad on the reg.
Need more salad recipes? Try Tracy Anderson’s gut-friendly, six-ingredient wonder.