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Is Diet Connected to Memory Function?

Is what you’re eating impacting how well you remember things throughout the day? Some studies indicate that it could. Many of these ideas are still in research, but scientists are beginning to link the gut to the brain. The following are several theories about how food could correlate to memory.

1. Is Fat a Factor?

In an article on Harvard Health Publishing, writers discuss eating a low-fat diet to support memory. Researchers compared a high saturated fat diet with one of lower, less trans fat. Participants who enjoyed red meat and rich butter meals tested lower in their memory and thinking. Those focused on polyunsaturated fats support a healthy lifestyle and maintained recall function.showed fewer signs of health problems and were able to better recall function.

What does this mean? According to the Harvard article, diets that focus on whole grains, fish, and olive oil may allow blood flow maintenance. This healthy living could help your brain receive the proper blood enrichment to think clearly.

Don’t cut fat out entirely if you want to follow this suit. Consider eating smaller amounts of healthier fats such as avocado and omega-3s. If you don’t like fish or want something daily to take, you could support your body by taking brain health supplements.

Is Processed Food Harmful?

You see boxed and canned foods when you enter the grocery store. Bags of chips and candy bars sit in easy-to-grab lines at the grocery store. It’s tempting to snag some crackers or pop in a pre-made meal. However, those choices could reduce your memory.

Emily Caldwell talks about this concept in an Ohio State website article, referring to a scientific study on aging rats. The animals enjoyed a four-week dining plan fraught with processed foods. Researchers observed changes in their behaviors and memories, plus noticeable brain inflammation. It’s possible that older adults, like rats, could suffer from extensive inflammation that hurts cognitive ability.

If you enjoy packaged sweets or salty delights, consider making some changes to see if it makes a difference. Pick out whole foods that have very little processing. If you desire a crunch, munch on a bag of nuts. When you want something sweet, turn to fruit. Limit what comes from the boxes or the frozen aisle.

What Does Sugar Do in the Body?

Glucose is used to fuel the systems, including the brain. The body uses sugar to create energy, so it sounds like a good thing. However, too much of something good could be harmful. An article from Verywellmind.com notes that it could trigger mood swings and slow brain processing.

Some problems may stem from increased inflammation, such as processed foods. However, sugar may cause other struggles in larger forms that impact the mind. When glucose levels go up and down, people experience spikes that could make them feel tired or worn down. In addition, the article from verywellmind.com states that “[e]elevated blood glucose harms blood vessels.”  Research has shown this effect in patients with diabetes who struggle with eye issues.

Sugar is in everything, so be mindful of how much you have daily. It’s good for the body in smaller doses. Use an application to monitor your intake, determining if you’re getting too much at a time. Track it for a few weeks until you get used to lowering the numbers. Save sweets for special occasions or eat them in small amounts.

Is diet connected to memory function? Current medical studies show there could be a strong correlation. To support healthy brain function consider adopting some of the suggestions above.  

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