Put down that banana and grab some greens instead – at least if you’re interested in turbo-boosting your memory.
A 2008 study of more than 3,500 Chicago-area senior citizens showed that eating at least 2.8 servings of vegetables a day can slow the rate of cognitive decline by as much as 40% – making the rate of decline about the same as that experience by people five years younger.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach were shown to have the most effect, which is largely attributed to the vegetables’ antioxidant activity.
Green leafies not your thing? Then go for the most colorful produce you can find, since foods with the highest antioxidant activity are generally the most colorful.
Surprisingly, the Chicago study didn’t see the same level of improvement when participants’ diets included increased servings of fruit. However while its possible that increasing the intake of certain vegetables is particularly effective in slowing cognitive decline, upping the consumption of any antioxidant-rich food is almost certainly beneficial.
University of California research indicates that purple fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, cranberries and Concord grapes, may be especially beneficial for the brain, and compounds found in apples, strawberries, and even curry spice activate neural pathways and enhance memory.