Several recent studies have shown that people who eat lots of veggies perform much better on memory tests. One study of older adults showed that the higher their vegetable consumption, the slower their rate of cognitive loss. This is not really breaking news, but what these follow-up studies have done is confirm the results of research done previously. The great thing was that less than 3 servings a day was able to slow their cognitive decline by over 40 percent! I wonder if those of us that regularly eat more than 3 servings per day have even better results?
There was one thing that bothered be a bit reading the news of these studies. Several times I saw a statement along the lines of “researchers who looked at fruit consumption found no corresponding benefit”. In other words veggies help, fruit does not. I did not see one person who questioned this statement. Here is the issue I have with that. Some of the items on the list of beneficials were tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and peppers. All of these we call vegetables, but they are really fruit. If there is one thing I think would make this research easier to digest, it would be to have a list of “vegetables” rated from best to least effective in terms of cognitive benefit. I did see one researcher quoted as saying the most benefit came from dark, leafy, greens. That makes sense.
One last thing was looked at in these studies. Researchers found that people who took large amounts of supplements, rather than increasing their vegetable consumption, showed no cognitive benefit. This confirms what other studies have shown. There are many phyto-compounds in vegetables in addition to the vitamins that benefit human health. There is virtually no research that does not show many different kinds of health benefits from eating a plant based diet. The results always show, the more the better. No matter what your current eating habits are, you will benefit from eating more plants.