Can adding leafy greens to our diet affect how fast we age?

Findings :

A recent study has suggested that eating 1-2 portions of green vegetables daily may have an effect on our cognitive decline.

The study found those who ate a higher proportion of green vegetables showed better brain function over 5 years with better memory and fewer signs of dementia.

What does this mean for us:

Through our daily food choices we may be able to have an influence on our ageing process. By actively trying to find a way to add greens to every meal we may be able to slow down how fast our brains are ageing, preserve memory for longer and reduce the risk of dementia.

Take away:

If we aim to incorporate greens into every meal, we can then easily manage 2 portions a day at least.

1 portion = 1/2 cup of cooked greens or 1 cup of fresh.


Ideas :


  • Try adding lightly steamed or wilted baby spinach to your morning smoothie or your breakfast eggs.


  • A leafy green salad with your choice of protein (beans, hummus, egg, fish, chicken) and good fat (extra virgin olive oil, seeds, nuts, avocados).
  • Add dark leafy greens like watercress or rocket to your sandwich, roll or wrap.


  • Add a cup of chopped broccoli to your main dish which could be a stir-fry, curry or pasta sauce.
  • Use frozen spinach if it’s easier and its certainly better than no greens at all.
  • Consider a cup of dark salad greens such as watercress or rocket with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as a regular side to your meals.
  • Or lightly steamed broccoli as a side dish drizzled with olive oil.
  • Use dark lettuce leaves as wraps and instead of burger buns.


Please note:

High nutrient greens such as kale and spinach can cause an unfavourable reaction in some people.

This is due to compounds called ‘Oxalates’ which can bind to calcium to the blood and cause muscle weakness and stomach pain.

Lightly steaming spinach, broccoli and kale reduces this effect.

Journal sources :

Do share any great ideas you may have to help us get more greens into our daily diet.


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