Boil Up This Springtime Vegetable for Better Memory

Pureed into soup, boiled, or grilled, this is one spring veggie you can't afford to forget about: artichokes.
Turns out that artichokes are high in luteolin. And a recent study suggests that this power-packed antioxidant may help quiet neuron-damaging inflammation in the memory center of our brains.

Cool Your Head
Over time, chronic inflammation can damage and even kill off brain cells in the hippocampus -- the memory-making part of our brains. And this gradual kill off of brain cells can lead to declines in memory and our ability to learn new things. But in a 4-week mouse study, hippocampal inflammation declined in a group of older, memory-impaired test subjects when they were fed a luteolin-enhanced diet. In fact, memory performance in the luteolin group matched that of much younger mice. (Related: A healthful diet is not the only way to keep your memory intact. Find out how your attitude about aging affects your memory.)
 

Luteolin inhibits microglia and alters hippocampal-dependent spatial working memory in aged mice. 

Love That Luteolin
Not only did luteolin improve basic memory performance, but it also improved spatial working memory, according to the results of a separate maze test. What that might mean for humans? Less time getting lost in the mall or the superstore parking lot. Artichokes seem too fussy? Green peppers, celery, chamomile tea, and parsley are other great sources of luteolin. But why not boil up a few whole artichokes?

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