Food That is Bad for Memory

Research studies have shown us many times that salt is a food that is bad for our bodies. Well, it appears that it may also be a food that is bad for memory and brain functioning. Cutting back on salt may be especially important for seniors who don’t get much exercise.

Food That Is Bad for Memory

It appears that salt is a food that is bad for memory. Cut back and at the same time increase your exercise.

Here is an excerpt from a study published in the Neurobiology of Aging.

In comments to Medscape Medical News, first author Alexandra J. Fiocco, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, said that “clinicians should ensure that their patients’ sodium intake falls below the recommended level (maximum 2300 mg/day).”

Further, she said the study results suggest that it is important to focus on multiple lifestyle domains, such as exercise and diet, instead of singling out one factor when creating health-promotion strategies in the clinic.

“Novel Interaction”

David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Connecticut, who was not involved in the study, said that “the interaction between sodium and physical activity cited here is certainly novel.”

“The basic notion,” he told Medscape Medical News, “is that higher sodium intake is potentially injurious to the (aging) brain, and physical activity is protective. The effects of physical activity seem to win out, so that habitual, moderate exercise may essentially ‘immunize’ the brain against adverse effects of higher sodium intake. However, the combination of more physical activity and less sodium is clearly better than either alone — and far better than neither,” Dr. Katz added.

If you’re interested in reading the scientific article, you can access the entire article here.

So it appears that cutting down on salt (food that is bad for memory) while increasing exercise is a good idea if we want to protect our brains. Share this post.


How to Prevent Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon

It happens to all of us and it’s frustrating — tip of the tongue phenomenon — the phrase used to describe what happens when we can’t seem to pull a word from our memory yet we know it’s there. Since it seems to occur more often as we age, it will be less of a frustration if we learn how to prevent tip of the tongue phenomenon. There are a few things we can do to minimize memory decline.

How to Prevent Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon

“People seem to expect that as soon as we start to need reading glasses, we should also expect some of these cognitive issues to arise, but it does not need to be that way,” says Naples, Florida-based Neurology Doctor David Perlmutter, co-author of Power up Your Brain. “You can absolutely do things early on in life and throughout your lifetime that work to maintain the bulk and function of the brain.”

Here’s how:

Stay lean.It may seem counterintuitive, but mounting evidence suggests that in order to grow a bigger brain, many of us should be eating less. “The key to the brain maintaining and even regenerating itself is the activation of a set of genes that code for a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF),” explains Perlmutter. “BDNF is significantly enhanced in people that simply cut down their calorie consumption.”

Wondering how to prevent tip of the tongue phenomenon? Eat a brain building diet.

Several animal and human studies support this conclusion. One 2009 study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, divided 50 men and women age 50
and older into three groups that slashed calorie intake by 20 percent, 30 percent and not at all. After three months, the groups that restricted their calories saw their verbal memory scores jump by more than 20 percent.

Perlmutter notes that just being overweight in the prime of life can promote excess inflammation and free radical production—two enemies of a healthy brain. A 2005 study of 10,000 men and women conducted by researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that people that were obese in their early 40s had a 74 percent increased risk of developing dementia later in life. “Just a 25 percent reduction in calories over one month’s time can have a profound effect on boosting memory,” Perlmutter notes.

Eat a brain-building diet. Aside from cutting calories, experts say it’s critical to load up on foods that boost neurogenesis (the development of new brain cells) and stall brain atrophy. Eating more fish (or omega-3 supplements), adding fruits and vegetables and cutting back on refined carbohydrates do just that, advises Dr. Christiane Northrup, obstetrician, gynecologist and author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom. “The brain is mostly made up of omega-3 fats, and many women, in particular, are lacking them in their diet,” she observes.

Perlmutter notes that supplementing one’s intake of omega-3 fatty acid DHA, present in fatty fish and marine algae, has been shown to switch on the genes that jumpstart BDNF production. DHA is also anti-inflammatory and promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. But people shouldn’t wait too long to load up on it.

You can continue reading here.

So it appears that the things we do to keep ourselves healthy are also things that we can pass along to others we care about so they too will know how to prevent tip of the tongue phenomenon. Share this.

Best Supplements to Improve Memory

Are you looking for the best supplements to improve memory? I think many of us would like to be more in control of our memory — recalling information when we need or want to. How satisfying would that be! Supplements may possibly be one way of improving memory.

Best Supplements to Improve Memory

best supplements to improve memory

being more in control of your memory may include taking the best supplements to improve memory

B Vitamins

Contained in greens, B vitamins help in the preservation of memory by preventing the loss of neurons in the brain. Not only do they help eliminate chemicals that are toxic to neurons, B vitamins also promote the health of red blood cells. Having a consistent flow of oxygen-saturated blood to the brain will improve memory printing and recall. The important B vitamins for memory are folic acid, B6, and B12. Natural sources of B vitamins should be a regular part of your diet: broccoli, beans, spinach, melons, and so on. Eating a healthier diet will improve your overall body health, as well as your memory. That’s easier said than done. If that’s out of the question, at least temporarily, you might consider taking a B vitamin supplement.

If you’re interested in reading about more supplements, here is a link to the entire article from BioSynergy.

So it appears that the various B vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids seem to be the best supplements to improve memory.

Disclaimer: the articles on this site are for information purposes only. Always contact a medical practitioner for advice.

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Ineffective Memory Technique

An earlier post in this blog cites research results that are now deemed to be incorrect. Gum chewing is now considered to be an ineffective memory technique even though previous studies have suggested that gum chewing just before a test resulted in better test scores due to enhanced blood flow to the brain, increased alertness, improved memory, and decreased anxiety.

Ineffective Memory Technique

ineffective memory technique

gum chewing is now considered to be an ineffective memory technique

…the latest study offers new results. The latest report says chewing gum makes short-term memory worse.

Gizmodo reported that researchers from the University of Cardiff in the United Kingdom tested volunteers in short-term memory challenges, with and without chewing gum. Volunteers tried to remember lists of words and numbers in the order they were seen or heard, and had to name missing items from lists.

The gum-chewing participants appeared to have impaired ability to remember the items. The results went against information learned in the past.

You’ll find the rest of this short article here.

Have you ever tried chewing gum before an exam? How did it make you feel? Do you think it was an effective or ineffective memory technique for you personally? Share your comments with us.



Brain Food Memory

To keep it functionally properly, your brain needs the very best in brain food. Memory, concentration, growth, and overall function improve when we give ourselves the best nutrition possible. Here are some things to keep in mind from [Read more...]

Memory Technique for Remembering Your Medication

It could create a life or death situation  — you forget to take your medication or you accidentally take it twice. Having a memory technique for remembering your medication will help prevent these serious situations from happening. In this article from Psychology Today, Dr. J.M. Fish describes a few strategies you might like to adopt.

One key piece of advice he offers is that you make a note of any errors you’ve made in taking your medication. Then he suggests reviewing the log with someone and then, together, working out a strategy or two that will minimize the chances of the error happening again in the future. Excellent advice!!

Memory Technique for Remembering Your Medication

Every person is different and every household is different, so the idea is to evolve a strategy that works for you, and then improve on it whenever necessary.

For example, people living alone don’t have to worry about children swallowing their pills or pets knocking them on the floor, but they also don’t have someone to remind them or to discuss their medication regimen with.

Here are a few strategies to start the ball rolling:

Associate pills with the time of day and place where you take them. Put morning pills on the breakfast table, and nighttime pills at your bedside.

Use pill organizers for medications taken at the same time.

memory technique for remembering your medication

memory technique for remembering your medication

Have a separate calendar for each pill (or group of pills) located right next to it; and write the time that you took it, instead of just checking it off.

You might need to wear a calendar watch or have some other easy way of verifying which date and day of the week it is before taking your pills. For some retired people there isn’t much difference between weekdays and weekends. Especially when a person is sleepy at bedtime or on waking up in the morning, it might be easy to swallow a pill first and then realize the mistake.

You can read the entire article here.

Having a memory technique for remembering your medication will become increasingly important as you age. Chances are more and more medications will be added to your regimen and keeping them all straight will become a major safety issue.

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Super Quick Brain Boosters

Looking for some super quick brain boosters that are easy to slip into your busy day? This particular post that I found on the Dr. Oz website describes 5 practical solutions that will add some variety to your [Read more...]

Best Foods to Improve Memory (Video)

I found a great video from an NBC segment discussing the 4 best foods to improve memory. Matt Lauer questions dietition and nutritionist Joy Bauer about fish, berries, leafy greens, and caffeine. [Read more...]

Do Dairy Foods Enhance Memory?

Drink this, eat that. There’s a lot of research on the effect of diet on memory and sometimes it can be a bit confusing keeping it all straight. It’s worth considering, though, the results of a recent study that will answer your question “Do dairy foods enhance memory?

Do Dairy Foods Enhance Memory?

Do dairy foods enhance memory?

Do dairy foods enhance memory?

In the study, overweight adults having less than 2 serves of dairy/day were recruited for a 12 month trial and were either given a diet which was high dairy (4 serves/day) or a low dairy (1 serve/day). After 6 and 12 months, subjects were tested for measures of cognitive performance.

The researchers found there was some improvement in working memory after following the high dairy diet and concluded that following a high dairy diet may have the potential to improve working memory.

It should be noted that the study was only small with 38 participants and that low fat dairy was used. It’s worth considering though.

Do you know how many serves of dairy foods you are having each day? Are you in the low or high dairy group?

A serve is about:

  • 1 glass (250mL) of milk
  • 1 tub (200g) of yoghurt
  • 2 slices (40g) of cheese
  • 1 cup (250ml) custard

Read the entire article here.

So if you were wondering “Do dairy foods enhance memory?” it appears that drinking/eating them would indeed have a positive impact on your memory. If you’re someone who is lactose intolerant and as a result, aren’t able to consume a high dairy diet, don’t fret, as there are a lot of other foods that are also recommended. Have a look at some of the other food-related posts on this blog. Tell us what you think of this article in the comment section.

Alcohol Improves Creative Memory

Haven’t we always been told that alcohol impairs our abilities — to think, to function safely, to remember, and so on?  Results of a  study at the University of Illinois have surprised us with the conclusion that alcohol improves creative memory in men. (There are several types of memory, two of which, creative memory vs. working memory, are described in the article below, along with an explanation of the study.)

Alcohol Improves Creative Memory

alcohol improves creative memory

alcohol improves creative memory

Working memory capacity is considered the ability to control one’s attention,” says Wiley, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It’s the ability to remember one thing while you’re thinking about something else.” In the past, scientists have found that increased working memory capacity, or better attentional control usually leads to better problem-solving performance—when it comes to analytical problem solving. But the same cannot be said when it comes to solving problems that require creativity.

With that in mind, Wiley and her colleagues tested the effects of alcohol consumption on creative problem solving tasks. Most states consider a person intoxicated if his blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. “We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks,” says Wiley.

That’s because the alcohol helped study participants access remote ideas, ideas that develop through association not linear analysis. In fact, linear reasoning can keep people focused on ideas they think are important but really aren’t.

For example, if Wiley asked you to tell her what word goes with the following: blue, cottage, Swiss. And you said, “cheese,” you’d be accessing your remote ideas, not linear ones. That is, you associated blue, cottage, and Swiss with cheese, a commendable and constructive thing to do.

“We have this assumption, that being able to focus on one part of a problem or having a lot of expertise is better for problem solving,” says Wiley. “But that’s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it’s good to be distracted.”

You can read more here.

You’ve probably experienced it too that creative ideas often materialize when you least expect them – and when you’re engaged in an activity unrelated to the problem you’re working on. My clients tell me that they generate their best ideas when they are involved in activities such as driving, taking a shower, listening to music, jogging, mowing the lawn, and so on.

So now that you’ve read about this study, you may like to keep your eyes and ears open the next time you’re having a drink and check out whether alcohol improves creative memory in men. Share your comments with us.