Leafy Greens for a Sharp Mind

Photography By Jill Melton | Last Updated February 06, 2018
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Baby turnip greens start making their way to the market in February and March.

This is the latest news according to NPR: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.

"The association is quite strong," says study author Martha Clare Morris, a professor of nutrition science at Rush Medical College in Chicago. She also directs the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging.

The research included 960 participants of the Memory and Aging Project. Their average age is 81, and none of them have dementia. Each year the participants undergo a battery of tests to assess their memory. Scientists also keep track their eating habits and lifestyle habits.

To analyze the relationship between leafy greens and age-related cognitive changes, the researchers assigned each participant to one of five groups, according to the amount of greens eaten. Those who tended to eat the most greens comprised the top quintile, consuming, on average, about 1.3 servings per day. Those in the bottom quintile said they consume little or no greens.

After about five years of follow-up/observation, "the rate of decline for [those] in the top quintile was about half the decline rate of those in the lowest quintile," Morris says.

Here are 7 tasty ways to get a good heap of greens. 

Kayne Prime's Kale Salad

This is hands down the best selling side at Kayne Prime Steakhouse. They make it in huge quantities. As the kale isn't cooked, the key is to finely chop the kale in a food processor.

Spinach Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash

Ordinarily the rule for picking butternuts is to choose squash with long fleshy necks and small “bells.” For this recipe, you’ll want a squash with an ample cavity for filling.

White Bean Salad with Spinach and Herbs

Welcome spring with this fresh white bean salad full of fresh herbs from the garden, tender spinach from the farmer's market, pungent green olive oil and fresh mozzarella. We used cooked dried beans...

Grits and Greens

This grits recipe has quickly become one of my favorites because it includes everything I love in one dish. The combination of sausage, cheese, greens, and hot sauce could not be better than when...

Greens Braised with Pancetta and Apple Cider

I've never really known how to cook collards the old-fashioned Southern way, nor have I been that fond of them. But when a friend cooked farm fresh collard greens with pancetta, garlic, onion and...

Simple Arugula Salad

Balsamic reduction is a staple ingredient in my kitchen. The chocolate-syrup-look-alike imparts magic to almost any dish; I use it in someway nearly everyday. Top pizza with balsamic reduction, and...

Baby Turnip Greens at the Farmers Market

We love the baby turnip greens that were in abundance by the bushel at the Nasvhille Farmers' Market this past February weekend. For $1 a pound, you could get yourself a "big ole' mess of '...
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