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Foods and drinks that are good for memory (and which ones are not)

Psychologist Kimberley Wilson, who has a master's degree in nutrition , says there are foods and drinks that can have a surprisingly positive and others a surprisingly negative effect on memory.

"Memory is our ability to remember information from the recent or distant past .

We have three types of memory: immediate, working and long-term.

Our immediate memory can only hold information - you guessed it! - for a short time: you would use it to dial a phone number that someone just told you without writing it down.

We use our working memory to think in action.

In tasks like having a conversation, it helps us remember what the person just said, understand its meaning, connect it to the previous conversation, and then share our own thoughts.

With our long-term memory we remember information from days or years in the past.

The memories stored in it have moved from our memory to immediate memory in a process called "consolidation."

And it turns out that What we eat can have an impact on how well our memory works .

In a study of older adults with memory problems, 500 milliliters of purple grape juice per day for 12 weeks allowed them to learn more words compared to the placebo group.

In studies with children who ate 240 grams of fresh blueberries allowed them to remember more words and remember them more accurately 2 hours later.

So are purple grapes and blueberries special?

Well, more or less. Both are rich sources of anthocyanins, a type of plant chemical called polyphenols that give them their deep color. These polyphenol compounds are also found in other berries.

When metabolized in the body, They improve the flexibility of blood vessels and blood flow to our brains . This in turn provides more energy nutrients and oxygen, improving our cognitive performance.

And it's not just berries.

Long-term consumption of green tea It has also been linked to better short-term memory, working memory attention, and reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

And it's also good news for lovers of chocolate because cocoa improves cerebral blood flow, although it must be dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa solids for you to reap the benefits.

The general rule is that the healthier the diet - rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and oily fish - the larger the brain's memory center and the better the memory performance.

refined foods

But, if chocolate, berries and green tea are good for our memories, Is there any food that is not?

Decades of animal studies and a growing number of human trials show that a diet rich in refined foods has a detrimental effect on learning and memory.

In one study, 110 healthy people who normally ate a nutritious diet were asked to eat a diet high in refined foods for just one week.

To give you some details of the menu, there were two Belgian waffles for breakfast on four of the days and two 'junk' meals at any time during that week.

Within days , the highly refined diet led to learning memory problems and poor appetite control.

A diet high in refined foods and sugars, and low in fruits, vegetables and fiber is also associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Research tells us that taking small steps to move our diets in a more nutritious direction - an extra piece of fruit with breakfast, an extra serving of vegetables at dinner - can help enhance our memories today and protect them for the future ."


"Because prevention is better than cure"

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