We all accept that as we age, our memories get worse. Turns out that eating the parsley garnish on your plate may help. A recent study looked at how a compound called luteolin, (commonly found in parsley and celery) slowed cognitive decline in older mice. What they found was that the mice that were given a diet fortified in luteolin had brains that functioned much like their younger counterparts.
What is luteolin?
Luteolin, similar to quercetin, is a flavonoid, which means it fights the aging process in all our cells, and is associated with lowered risk of developing cancer and heart disease. In the brain, flavonoids protect cells from the aging process by reducing inflammation. Research has also been conducted involving luteolin and other neurological diseases, including diabetic neuropathy and multiple sclerosis; however, more research is needed. Luteolin is found in most leaves, which means it’s abundant in many herbs including parsley, celery, perilla leaves, chamomile tea, rosemary, oregano as well as olive oil, carrots and peppermint.
It is worth mentioning, however, that the study was conducted on mice, different results may be found in humans. Luckily, the foods that luteolin are found in are good for you, so it can’t hurt to add some to your diet.
To ramp up the luteolin content of your diet try the following tips:
- Eat the parsley on the plate. Luteolin is found in both the dried and fresh varieties of most herbs. A garnish isn’t always just for show.
- Drink 1 cup of chamomile tea each day. Allow the leaves to steep for three to five minutes for optimal extraction.
- Use lots of spices. Luteolin is found in a lot of herbs and spices, such as rosemary and oregano; adding them to your meat, chicken and fish will also provide a flavorful substitute for salt.
- Add celery to your favorites foods. Throw a bunch into that soup you’re making or chop some into your tuna salad.