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Spinach and Broccoli Could Delay the Onset of Dementia

New research from Harvard Medical School reveals that middle-aged women who have a healthy amount of spinach and broccoli in their diet may retain more of their cognitive abilities as they enter their 70s.

The study is a part of the Nurses Health Study that has been following the diets and health status of 13,000 women since 1972. Researchers state that those women with the highest consumption of spinach and broccoli experienced less cognitive decline than other women.

These vegetables are both high in folate and antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin C, which researchers think play a role in the delay of the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. An estimated 4.5 million people currently have Alzheimer's disease, and researchers hope this information will help reduce the incidence of the disease in the future.

Research out of Johns Hopkins University has suggested broccoli can also help prevent cancer by inactivating carcinogenic substances and activating powerful antioxidant responses that protect cells. The researchers discovered that the vegetable also kills H. pylori bacteria, the cause of ulcers.

Source: Food Navigator, July 21, 2004; Consumer Reports on Health, July 2004

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Nutrition Information

last update: March 2006

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