As a child the thought of eating spinach was only appealing when Popeye ate it and got stronger (“I’m strong to the finish when I eats me spinach”). Who would have thought that eating spinach actually is a strengthener – at least for the brain!
It may be a hard pill to swallow, but your mother was right, spinach is good for you. The “yuck” reflect stayed in my mouth for years, until one day a friend offered me a salad and I loved it – that was before she told me it was spinach. Either my taste buds changed over the years, or spinach really isn’t such a disgusting thing to eat.
Dark leafy vegetables, like spinach, are rich in magnesium – an important nutrient in maintaining muscle and nerve function. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral found in the body, and it is excellent for improving memory fitness.
Learning and memory skills are basic functions of the brain, and they are affected by diet and other environmental factors. A diet high in dark green, leafy vegetables will definitely enhance memory and cognitive functions.
A study published in the journal Neuron shows accelerated learning, improved study skills and improved memory with the addition of more magnesium in your diet. The researchers in the study administered a compound of magnesium to both young and old rats. They found enhanced short- and long-term memory, and accelerated learning abilities in all ages after the injections. They also found that magnesium increased the density of the connections between neurons in the hippocampus (the portion of the brain critical for learning and memory).
From this research, scientists believe that adding magnesium foods and supplements to your diet may be able to significantly slow age-related memory loss.
A study reported earlier, in the American Journal of Epidemiology, indicated there is an increased risk of stroke due to high blood pressure, and diabetes, in subjects found to be deficient in magnesium. It is essential to maintain optimal memory fitness as we age, in order to avoid strokes, and that seems to be related to the amount of magnesium intake.Â
Good sources of magnesium in our diets, in addition to green vegetables rich in the chlorophyll molecules containing magnesium ions, are nuts (especially cashews and almonds); dark chocolate (great news for chocoholics); roasted soybeans; seeds; bran and some whole grains.
A word of caution if you are considering magnesium supplements: Although healthy kidneys can usually handle excessive magnesium levels from diet and supplements, too much magnesium may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Further research on the safety of magnesium supplements for humans is needed, so consult your physician before adding magnesium – or any supplements, to your diet.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.
MemoryZine – Remember To Eat Your Greens… For Better Memory Fitness: Memoryzine.com