The smell of rosemary could boost your memory, researchers said.
Aroma of essential oil from the herb could improve memory in healthy adults, according to researchers from the University of Northumbria.
The smell may enhance the ability to remember events and to remember to complete tasks at particular times, they said.
A group of 66 people were given memory tests in either a rosemary-scented room or another room with no scent.
Participants were tasked various tests to assess their memory functions, including finding hidden objects and passing specified objects to researchers at a particular time.
The results, presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in Harrogate, showed that participants in the rosemary-scented room performed better on the prospective memory tasks than those in the room with no smell.
"We wanted to build on our previous research that indicated rosemary aroma improved long-term memory and mental arithmetic," said author Dr Mark Moss.
"In this study we focused on prospective memory, which involves the ability to remember events that will occur in the future and to remember to complete tasks at particular times. This is critical for everyday functioning. For example, when someone needs to remember to post a birthday card or to take medication at a particular time."
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Avocados are a great source of 'healthy fats' as well as a good blood circulation booster. This is important when it comes to brain power, as it enhances the blood flow to the brain, maintaining healthy brain function.
The essential omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish like sardines, herring, trout and mackerel, as well as walnut oil and flaxseeds (linseeds) - are high in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid crucial to maintaining a healthy nervous system. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and memory loss. Fish also contains iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity. For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
Whole grains improve circulation and help regulate glucose levels in the blood as the steadier the glucose levels, the easier it is to concentrate. This is why it's important to eat breakfast in the morning, as it not only revs up the metabolism, but keeps your sugar levels balanced as well as protecting against diabetes and heart disease.
Sugar is the brain's preferred fuel source, however before you reach for the table sugar, it's glucose that your body needs. The body metabolises glucose from the sugars and carbohydrates in food. That's why a glass of something sweet offers a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability. Too much sugar on the other hand, can result in impaired memory, so go easy on the sweet stuff and consume enough to boost your brain power.
Like sugar, caffeine perks up the brain but if you have too much, it can have negative effect on your mental state. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up feeling. But beware, the effects are short-term and if you overdo it, the brain can go into overdrive and make you more jittery than sharp thinking.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are great sources of antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age. A good intake of vitamin E is linked to preventing poor memory. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains. Pumpkin seeds are especially good for boosting brain power, as a handful a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills.
Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants, which are thought to protect brain neurons from damage, build communication receptors between each brain cell, and flush out waste. They also help protect against age-related diseases like Alzheimer's. Blackberries are also a great brain booster, as it contains Vitamin C which has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility.
An unlikely contender, the humble sage has long had a reputation for improving memory. Although its recommended to try sage oils, try and sprinkle some sage into your diet.
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Tomato's contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's.
A great source of vitamin K, broccoli which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.
Co-author Jemma McCready, added: "These findings may have implications for treating individuals with memory impairments.
"It supports our previous research indicating that the aroma of rosemary essential oil can enhance cognitive functioning in healthy adults, here extending to the ability to remember events and to complete tasks in the future.
"Remembering when and where to go and for what reasons underpins everything we do, and we all suffer minor failings that can be frustrating and sometimes dangerous. Further research is needed to investigate if this treatment is useful for older adults who have experienced memory decline."