The over-65s who eat up to three servings of vegetables a day reduce the decline in their cognitive abilities by up to 40 per cent compared with those who eat almost no vegetables.
The protective effect didn't seem to get much better than that, even among those who ate more than four servings of vegetables a day.
The discovery has been made by the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), which has tracked the health of a group of 3,718 people over a 10-year period.
Fruit didn't seem to have the same beneficial effects, even when eaten in high quantities, researchers found.
(Source: Neurology, 2006; 67: 1370-6).
E-news broadcast 9 November 2006 No.308 [Subscribe]