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Eat This for a Younger Brain

Here are six tasty ways to boost your intake of lutein.

Eat
Kale avocado salad

anakopa/Thinkstock

Here are six tasty ways to boost your intake of lutein.

If you’ve been meaning to eat more greens, a new study out from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may give you the extra nudge you need. It found that middle-aged people with higher levels of lutein—a nutrient that occurs in green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as avocados and eggs—had better cognitive responses than their peers. That is, their brains were reacting more like younger people’s. Lutein is a nutrient that the body cannot make on its own, and it accumulates in the brain and in the eyes. It’s good for vision, too; the American Optometric Association recommends about 10 mg. a day. For this week’s Healthy Habit, here are six tasty ways to boost our intake of lutein.

1. Cook Up Some Greens

Kale, spinach, collard greens and turnip greens, when cooked, are the richest sources of lutein. Aim for a one-cup serving; just one cup of kale boasts 22 mg of lutein.

2. Eat the Stuff Mom Told You to Eat

“Eat your… corn… green peas… broccoli.” You probably heard a rotation of that growing up. Well, she was right. Brussels sprouts? Yep, those too.

3. Scramble Some Eggs

Egg yolks are the key part; two large eggs contain 2 mg of lutein.

4. Craft a Salad

For the perfect mix of lutein-rich foods, toss a bowlful of romaine lettuce, avocados and some orange peppers.

5. Turn on the Blender

Include avocados in your smoothies, as Haas avocadoes are terrific sources of lutein.

6. Fruit for Dessert

When you’re in the mood for something sweet, reach for a juicy orange, tangerine, kiwi, papaya or grapes.


Kathryn Drury Wagner

Kathryn Drury Wagner is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She is the author of Hawaii’s Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!, a science and natural history “gross out” for young readers.  


This entry is tagged with:
AgingNutritionNutritious FoodsHealthy Habits

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