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10 food items that help you boost your memory and one that could destroy it

Is food able to improve memory? Numerous researchers have proved, over the years that certain types of vegetables, fruits, and seeds have miraculous effects on memory processes.

As we are well aware, both our bodies and our minds are largely dependent on food; on healthy food, as a matter of fact. Only healthy food can guarantee the proper functioning of the human body. However, nutritional deficiency is a problem occurring quite frequently all over the world.

According to Dr. Roger Williams, a biochemist and author of the book “Nutrition in a Nutshell”, foods like seeds and nuts, fish, fruits, vegetables, and eggs make an excellent nutrition program for both body and mind. He also claims that everyone should cut out all processed foods from their diets , as they have no long-term beneficial effects on the human body, compared to the unprocessed foods, which form the foundation of a healthy body and a strong mind. Consequently, he made a list of the best food items that can help you develop and enhance your memory.

1. Millet is a powerful memory booster. Due to its high content in vitamins, minerals, protein, and lecithin, it visibly improves memory when consumed regularly. Moreover, it is easy to digest and does not ferment or produce acid in your stomach. In combination with honey and milk, millet can make an excellent tasty and healthy breakfast.

2. Similarly, sunflower seeds are vitamin and mineral “bombs” and represent a great source of unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, they are a genuine nutritional treasure, rich in vitamin B and packed with more brain-nourishing elements than wheat germ, soy or peanut butter.

3. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and calcium. You can eat them mixed in salads, with honey or in the form of cold-pressed oil.

4. Pumpkin seeds also abound in protein, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids. You can enjoy them as such, as a morning snack, or you can mix them in salads. One thing you should keep in mind, though, is that roasting decreases the mineral content of pumpkin seeds.

5. Soybeans. Some nutritionists consider them the perfect food. Soybeans contain more protein than beef, more calcium than milk and more lecithin than eggs. Furthermore, they contain an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and amino-acids. Therefore, not only you should not avoid soybeans, but you should also eat soy-based products on a regular basis.

6. Yogurt has a calming effect on your digestive tract and boosts your metabolism. When your metabolism works perfectly, your brain is at its peak too.

7. Brewer’s yeast has the highest content of vitamin B. A teaspoonful of yeast mixed in a glass of natural fruit juice makes a first-rate memory tonic to drink in the morning, after breakfast.

8. Sea salt is an excellent source of iodine, an element required for the proper working of your thyroid gland, which in turn influences your mental health.

9. Wheat germ is another food item that provides your body with large amounts of protein and unsaturated fatty acids. Additionally, it is extremely rich in B vitamins, which help develop a very good memory.

10. Juices prepared from fresh fruits and vegetables. Starting your day with a glass of juice made of fresh fruits or vegetables may be the right answer to enjoying maximum energy and vitality all day long. You may combine three fruits, three vegetables, or you can make various combinations of both. The vitamins, minerals and enzymes contained in fruits and vegetables will help your brain function properly.

In addition to the food items listed by Dr. Roger Williams, other nutritionists and neurologists recommend several other food sources which they claim to be excellent “memory engines”. Among these, he lists fish, berries, avocado, and the controversial dark chocolate.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids contained in fish like salmon, sardine, herring, or mackerel are helpful in preventing dementia. A study involving 3,000 subjects, conducted by researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, showed that the subjects whose diets were based on high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids had a lower risk of developing cognitive disorders. If you want visible results, you should eat fish on a regular basis, which is at least three times a week.

Berries are the most powerful antioxidant “factory”, especially when it comes to producing anthocyanins and flavones. For instance, British researchers associate blueberry intake with improved spatial memory and better learning abilities. There are no contraindications to eating berries: you can eat on a daily basis, be they fresh, dried or frozen. Whatever the form, the benefits they bring to your memory and your brain as a whole is extraordinary.

Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocado is another excellent memory booster. However, since it is also high in calories, doctors recommend that we should avoid eating more than half an avocado a day.

While there are specialists who believe that dark chocolate is good for memory due to its powerful antioxidant properties, other doctors claim that its sugar content, however tiny, is detrimental to memory.

Is sugar a memory “killer”?

Sugar is not a food. It is a pure carbohydrate, which, according to specialists, does nothing but create illusions. We all know that excessive sugar intake does not do any good to anybody or to any organ of our body. The key to perfect health is balance. The same goes for sugar. While it is true that eating sugar in excess will certainly “kill” our memory, eating too little sugar will do the same. Researchers have performed numerous studies intended to confirm both theories. For instance, Dr. Joseph Wilder claims that a high level or blood sugar has catastrophic effects. He cites the cases of several serial killers who apparently had high levels of sugar in their blood. Excessive sugar intake can produce similar effects to those of drug abuse: an overexcited brain and the inability to think straight.

Other studies, this time involving children, revealed surprising evidence: children who habitually ate large amounts of sweets displayed considerably weaker concentration abilities and memory skills compared to those who ate sweets only on occasion. In addition, the former were a lot more irascible, violent and distracted than the latter.

Risk factor for vascular dementia

A recent study suggests that people with high levels of blood sugar, even those who do not suffer from diabetes, might face a high risk of developing cognitive disorders. According to researchers at Mayo Clinic, diabetes is a risk factor for vascular dementia precisely because it can affect the blood vessels in the brain.

German scientists claim that even people who do not suffer from diabetes, but have high levels of blood sugar, may have a high risk of developing cognitive disorders. They reached this conclusion after testing 143 people whose average age was 63 and did not suffer from diabetes or prediabetes. After measuring the subjects’ blood sugar levels, the researchers asked them to take part in a number of memory tests. In one of these tests, the subjects were asked to remember a list of 15 words 30 minutes after having been shown the list. The results proved that the participants with low levels of blood sugar got better scores on memory tests than those who had high levels of sugar in their blood. Moreover, on the test that required the subjects to remember 15 words 30 minutes after seeing them, the subjects with high blood sugar levels remembered fewer elements in the list.

It’s all about balance

On the other hand, the effects of not eating enough sugar may be as disastrous as the effects of eating too much of it. By depriving your brain of the glucose it needs, you also deprive it of clarity. According to Dr. Wilder’s studies, low blood sugar may also result in loss of consciousness, inability to focus and extremely poor concentration while studying.

In other words, it is all about balance. A healthy diet means a healthy life and a healthy mind.

You may also want to read:
5 superfoods and 4 essential rules to keep diabetes under control
How do you know if your body is overacidified?

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