To date, 75 pro football players have spelled their last name G-R-E-E-N, notably the Cleveland Browns’ Pro Bowl halfback/fullback Ernie Green (1962-1968), who gained 3,204 yards and caught 179 passes out of the backfield in his six-year career (while blasting open running lanes for his Hall-of-Fame teammate Jim Brown), and the Redskins’ speedy Hall-of-Famer, “The Ageless Wonder” Darrell Green, who played 20 seasons from 1983-2002.
But they’re not the only Greens associated with agility, stamina and longevity.
The amazing power of greens is also highlighted in a new study from Rush Medical Center in Chicago. Researchers followed more than 950 older adults, average age 81 (Ernie is now 76), for two to 10 years and discovered that folks who eat one to two daily servings of spinach, kale, mustard or collard greens have a cognitive ability that is 11 years younger than folks who skip those good-for-you leafy veggies.
The researchers also found that in addition to the lutein, folate and beta-carotene in the greens, vitamin K was a key defender of brainpower. Clearly, whatever your age, it’s a good time to make sure your diet is rich in greens and other sources of these brain-loving nutrients, such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
Cooking up soups, side dishes, casseroles and salads that deliver the greens will keep you playing at top form for decades to come. Toss in some omega-3-jammed walnuts. Check out the recipes for garlicky Tuscan spinach and kale and other greens at doctoroz.com and your younger RealAge at sharecare.com.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.