Eat Greens to Slow Brain Aging and Keep Your Complexion Radiant!

complexion and brain health benefits of eating green leafy vegetables

Eat green leafy vegetables for healthy skin and a sharp mind.

Dr. Bailey - Greens and healthy skin

Grandma was right to make you eat your greens. Amazing how smart those grandma’s are.

I’ve encouraged you to eat a daily dose of greens for your complexion and want to add inspiration for your brain health. - Dr. B

None of us like groping for nouns, loosing our keys or glasses or loosing track of what we are saying mid-sentence. Greens are turning out to be the superfood to fight mental decline with age – and your complexion will look fabulous, too. I love this topic!

Yes, evidence is growing that your diet is especially huge if you want to age well – and greens are uber-epic in the healthy-as-you-age diet category.

Latest scientific evidence for the brain health benefits of leafy green vegetables.

Martha Clare Morris, lead researcher in a study on brain aging and lifestyle that was published last month in Neurology, said so herself. She also said that eating the fresh leafy greens is key; you can’t take them processed in a dietary supplements.

Sorry. No dietary bypass pill taken with our croissant or hamburger will do the trick. Nope, we have to eat fresh “leafys.” - Dr. B

Mother Nature is our most brilliant nutritional chemist. She created the perfect nutrient combination in the perfect form when she made greens; you get bigger, better, more of her goodness when you eat them cooked or raw and best with a little oil.

What are the nutritional benefits of leafy greens?

  • Nutrients like vitamin K, folate, lutein, beta carotene, etc.
  • And not to mention pre-biotic fiber that your fascinating intestinal microbiome needs to do its complex work to keep you happy, healthy, un-inflamed, and less-prone to gain weight.

Martha Clare Morris emphasizes this point. She said that based on the research about greens, it's really the food sources of these nutrients (in greens) that seem to be important.

Of the top 20% of the people in this new study, those who demonstrated the best memory and mental skills ate one or more servings of green leafys a day!

Yep, they ate them raw as salad greens or ½ cup of cooked greens – easy-peasy, 1/2 cup goes down fast. And it's not rocket science or torture!

Mother Nature has given us the perfect balance of complex nutrients that can’t be replicated in a pill, powder or processed anything.

You need to eat the fresh green leaves, period! Learn to enjoy them.

  • Go buy them.
  • Sauté them in olive oil.
  • Make a salad out of them.

Basically, put them in your mouth every day, chew and swallow.

When you eat your greens every day, you’ll take 11 years off your brain’s aging.

eat green leafy vegetables every day simple

Yep! 11 years according to Martha Clare Morris’s study. 11 years is HUGE!

We have a choice. Do we want to be that confused person slipping into dementia as we age, or do we want to be that sharp tack that gives everyone hope because they see us aging amazingly? I’m aiming for being the sharp tack, and I'm on this topic like “a dog on a hunt” for two reasons:

  1. Your complexion will be as amazing as your wit.
  2. My own personal and precious brain took a big blast of bad when I had scorched-earth chemo followed by 16 or more hours of general anesthesia to beat genetic cancer in 2013 and 2014. (The Cancer Year). I’m still reeling from the damage while also reveling in being alive to experience the adventure of the new me.

I'm a doctor and I eat green veggies every day

Believe me, I eat my greens. I grow 'em in my California veggie garden year round. I eat 'em every which way, and I already know that my Nana was right when she made me eat them as a kid. I’m putting this important fact in front of you today because it helps us all with our resolve to eat better – let's skip the treats and eat the greens. Make them taste like treats in yummy and easy recipes so that you follow through.

Here are two of my super easy ways to include greens with my lunch or dinner meals:

Dr. Bailey's No-Brainer Kale Salad Recipe:

healthy diet and skin care
  • Wash any type of kale (Tuscan Lacinato is my fav but I’ll eat anything kale).
  • Pull-off or cut the stems out of the kale (they are bitter and why you think you don’t like kale).
  • Layer the leaves and roll them. Slice them in ¼ inch strips and set aside.
  • In your salad bowl, pour some olive oil and add a dash of balsamic vinegar to taste. Squirt a very tiny bit of agave or maple syrup and sprinkle with salt. Add some minced onion, again to your taste. Wisk your dressing to blend.
  • Pile the kale and massage it into the dressing. Look at the dark green all over your hands – it’s proof that this is nutrient dense magic food!
  • Throw in some sweet fruit: small chopped pear, fresh pomegranate seeds, dried raisins or chopped figs or cranberries – whatever you have on hand and like.
  • Add some pungent cheese like feta, grated parmesan, asiago or aged gouda.
  • Add a nut or seed, toasted or not. I love roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or toasted pine nuts.
  • Bam! You’re done! Now, put it in your mouth, chew and swallow. It’s yummy and amazing for your skin, brain and everything about your physical body!

Dr. Bailey’s Super Easy Light Sauté of Collard Greens (or kale or even chard) Recipe:

  • Collards have the highest amount of useful/bioavailable calcium in the plant world – another wonder food.
  • Wash your greens and leave them damp. Cut out the stem (this is why you have not liked collards). Stack the leaves and roll them and slice them in ¼ inch strips.
  • Mince garlic to taste.
    Greens and brain health
  • Pour olive oil in a sauté pan and heat (never to the point of smoking, just until it starts to look thinner). Put the garlic in and stir it around then add the greens and stir. No need to brown the garlic, just get it wilting.
  • Turn the greens into the oil and garlic, sprinkle with salt if you like salt (I love salt). Sprinkle with water if it looks like the leaves are dry.
  • Place a tight lid on the pot and lower the heat to low. I use a simmer plate to keep the cooking low to prevent burning.
  • Peak in every few minutes and give the greens a flip. Cook until they are limp but have not changed from bright green to dull green because that changes the flavor.

Two important tricks to make green veggies tasty:

  1. You must get rid of the bitter stems, trust me, that’s what tastes horrible. The leaves are yummy (or at least neutral).
  2. Increase the surface-to-volume ration of the leaves and mix with a tasty flavor like the salad dressing or the olive oil and garlic. Your taste buds will be so happy telling you about the yummy flavors that the greens will go down unnoticed! 

The trick is to get rid of the stem then cut the leaves in ¼ inch strips so they are easier to chew and they pick up the flavors you’re adding. It's the rocket science for making greens yummy! - Dr. B

Now, you don’t have any excuses not to start eating your greens. They can be delicious. But most important, they’ll help you have a better complexion and a healthy mind!



Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., professor, internal medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director, scientific programs and outreach, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Dec. 20, 2017, Neurology, online Link to HealthDay