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Vegetables curb mental decline

24th October 2006

A new study has indicated that vegetables are more effective than fruit at slowing mental decline in the elderly.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago claim that vegetables significantly help to slow cognitive decline in those over the age of 65.

The findings, published in the Neurology journal, discovered that people who ate 2.8 servings of vegetables a day saw their rate of decline fall by 40 per cent when compared to those who had just one serving.

Green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, were found to be the most beneficial to those of retirement age.

Clare Morris, associate professor at Rush University Medical Center, said that the lack of positive benefits exhibited by fruit "was unanticipated and raises several questions.

"It may be due to vegetables containing high amounts of vitamin E, which helps lowers the risk of cognitive decline," she conjectured.

"Vegetables, but not fruits, are also typically consumed with added fats such as salad dressings, and fats increase the absorption of vitamin E."

Further investigations in to the area are expected shortly.