In response to the daily prompt: Aware
If it is true, and I kind of think it is, that food is medicine than we really need to be more aware of what we are putting into our bodies and how it
might be helpful to us when we are feeling a bit on the unhealthy side. For me, one of the scariest health problems is memory loss. So, I’ve been looking at foods that I can incorporate into my diet that might help keep my memory functioning as best as possible. I discovered two foods in particular, walnuts and chocolate, which appear to be do just that.
Who knew that these little guys that I used to shun as a child would become one of the most important foods of my adult life. So what’s the evidence:
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition walnut supplementation in lab animals improved their working memory. The scientists hypothesize that it is the polyunsaturated fats, PUFA, in walnuts and their anti-inflammation effect that makes this possible.
Another study which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found that cognitive function in older persons at high cardiovascular risk living in a Mediterranean country that have higher intakes of both total olive oil and the virgin variety of olive oil, coffee, walnuts, and wine were associated with better memory function and global cognition.
Onward to Chocolate – Dark Chocolate (defined as 70% cacao or higher)
Yes, chocolate can be good for you. One study highlighted in the New York Times in 2014 showed dark chocolate consumption having nearly a 25% increase in memory:
When healthy people between the ages of 50 and 69 drank a mixture high in cocoa flavanols for three months, they performed about 25% better on a memory test compared to a control group of participants.
Another study completed by Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda University found that dark chocolate can help with memory and recall:
Cacao can regulate various levels of sensory awareness and increase the density of different electroencephalographic (EEG) frequencies. The most profound finding is that the EEG gamma wave band frequency associated with the brain’s highest level of mental processing, enhanced memory and recall, and physiological benefits.
Getting Walnuts and Dark Chocolate Together
This is easy, quick and delicious. First spread about 4 cups of walnuts onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put into a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile melt 8 ounces of dark chocolate following package directions. Combine toasted walnuts and chocolate in medium sized bowl working to fully coat all of the nuts with the chocolate. Drop by the spoonful back onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to cool on the counter or in the refrigerator – Do NOT put back into the oven! Once the nuts are set store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
These good for your body and your soul – food is medicine and delicious, too 🙂
Be Aware of what you eat!
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