Okay. Don't hate the hipsters for hoarding kale. They might have heard of this news that eating food with high levels of lutein may help older adults become smarter.
Researchers published a study
that involved 122 healthy adults between the ages of 65-75 from Carle Foundation Hospital. Participants solved problems and answered questions on a standard test of crystallized intelligence.
The researchers found that participants with higher blood serum levels of lutein had better results on tests of crystallized intelligence. Though, blood serum levels conducted in the study only reflect the recent intake of lutein, concentrations of the said substance in the brain reflect long term dietary intake.
Studies also showed that participants with higher serum lutein levels have thicker gray matter in the parahippocampal cortex. Meaning, those who have higher serum lutein levels may have healthier brains.
"These results suggest that the parahippocampal cortex acts as a mediator of the relationship between serum lutein and crystallized intelligence in cognitively intact older adults. Prior findings substantiate the individual relationships reported within the mediation, specifically the links between serum lutein and temporal cortex structure, serum lutein and crystallized intelligence, and parahippocampal cortex structure and crystallized intelligence," researchers written in the study.
They added that the results of the study, "demonstrates a novel structural mediation between lutein status and crystallized intelligence, and therefore provides further evidence that specific nutrients may slow or prevent features of cognitive decline by hindering particular aspects of brain aging. Future work should examine the potential mechanisms underlying this mediation, including the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and membrane modulating properties of lutein."
Crystallized intelligence is one of the two distinct forms of intelligence. According to a psychologist, Raymond Cattell, crystallized intelligence is the ability to use learned knowledge and experience.