A recent study reported in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience has linked the consumption of lutein, a pigment found in leafy greens, to the preservation of “crystallized intelligence”: the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
Lutein is found in leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (think: broccoli), and egg yolks, and is one of the plant pigments that humans acquire through diet. The study, led by University of Illinois graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz and professor Aron Barbey, found that after consumption, lutein accumulates in the human brain and likely plays a neuroprotective role.
Zamroziewicz explains, “Previous studies have found that a person’s lutein status is linked to cognitive performance across the lifespan.” She continued, “Research also shows that lutein accumulates in the gray matter of brain regions known to underlie the preservation of cognitive function in healthy brain aging.”

Zamroziewicz is careful to point out that they are not suggesting causality, but simply that lutein is linked to crystallized intelligence. But she does say that their finding “adds to the evidence suggesting that particular nutrients slow age-related declines in cognition by influencing specific features of brain aging.”
To learn more about the study, read the full article on Neuroscience News.