You are always seeing the headlines to health magazines warning you of the dangers of cholesterol and saturated fats. Grocery shelves are full of low-carb and low-fat foods — which when you look at the labels closely are neither low in carbs or low in fat, at least not the fat you should be avoiding. What foods are good for your memory and which foods are bad for your memory?
Is all fat bad for you? Not according to a recent study that claims eating fatty fish can decrease your risk of memory loss and actually be good for your brain.
Eating high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol-laden foods, such as the diet of the middle ages, was a certain guarantee of memory loss and a youthful death. On the other hand, diets that consisted of omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, like those found in salmon, tuna and other pink fish have just the opposite effect. Omega-3 seems to be good food for your memory.
In a Dutch study, published in the Journal of Neurology, 1613 middle-aged men and women were studied over a five-year span of time. It was found that those who ate lots of fish had a lower rate of memory loss, while those who consumed high amounts of cholesterol rich food had elevated rates of mental decline along with loss in body flexibility and slower reactions. They concluded that foods bad for your memory or foods bad for your brain plays a significant part in cardiovascular disease and the development of a variety of neurodegenerative and dementia disorders.
As we age it becomes even more important to concentrate on our diets. If we follow the science we see that a “Mediterranean Diet,” one that is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, like omega3 fish oils, may decrease the rate of memory loss as well as increase the flow of blood in our arteries — and to our brains. This “Mediterranean Diet” could be an example of good brain foods.
A study of 278 people ages 65-84 in the rural southern part of Italy reveals that a diet high in monounsaturated fats can improve memory and cognitive function. In the study, on average, 33% of their total calories were consumed in the form of fat, and half of those came from monounsaturated fatty acids, 15% of this from olive oil. These people ate a diet high in cold-water fish and olive oil, found to improve brain function, reduce memory loss and hold off mental decline.
There is no way to avoid aging, but we can find ways to stop our brains from showing the effects. What scientists call “age-related cognitive decline (ARCD)” is a mild deterioration in our memory, the loss of ability to perform simple daily tasks, and the slowing down of our mental process. Causes of this decline are still unknown, but research has found that certain conditions will definitely add to the decline — such as high blood pressure, metabolic disorders, smoking, lack of physical activity and lack of mental challenges will accelerate the decline of memory.
So if you eat good brain foods such as the “Mediterranean Diet” it just may be good foods for memory!
This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion , memory training expert, and memory keynote speaker, and from this study we can see that proper nutrition and exercise, along with memory training classes, and learning good memory techniques, will help to stimulate the brain and fight off dementia — and it doesn’t hurt to eat a good Mediterranean diet.
Life Enhancement: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Cognitive Functions: http://www.life-enhancement.com/article_template.asp?ID=578
Memoryzine.com: Eating fatty fish clears mental fog – http://memoryzine.com/2010/07/22/eating-fatty-fish-clears-mental-fog/
Science Daily: Scientists Learn How Food Effects The Brain — Especially Omega-3 – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080709161922.htm