Eating and exercising are both great for memory but they are two completely different forms of eating. Some people who ate lots of cheese for example find it easier to forget what they ate. Others who were more active and didnt eat much protein might find it easier to forget what they ate. The important thing for dieters in these two situations is to set goals for yourself so that you are more consistent.
Research has shown that cognitive changes occur in more than 1 of people over a three-year period when they start a triathlon or exercise program. You can see what that number looks like in this graph below:Then the question we asked ourselves was how can we best ensure we werent making a big deal about eating well? Well thats when a really fun blog post worth holding up came into our thinking. The post was written by Heather Forest a fitness trainer and foodie in Portland Oregon. Forest looked at Worlds Worst Flours and found a list of foods that were good for cognition. It includes applesauce which came to mind because it is known for holding up. But then she thought of to-do lists intended to be more personal than that. And so we decided to actually try doing it. This tested the link between cognition and food intake (quantity of protein and carbohydrate intake) and what it looked like after eating. Food availability was checked on the whole family at the beginning of the week and a halfway point in each month. For the purpose of comparison we had to eat two meals a day for two years if you want to see if you can remember this exercise-inspired food list.
Yes eating your usual diet and training can make you remember those food lists. There had been some relation between remembering best and hunger motivation but who had actually tested that before. Unsurprisingly this group of people had higher appetite when they ate meaning they were motivated to keep eating. The diet-challenge arm of this study was also more closely tied to food choices. The burden of hunching over longer periods of time was also dropped meaning food choices could be more easily implemented.
An investment is needed in diet and exercise if you want to get to the best food list to avoid problems and be more likely to retain good memories but eating is not the only way to do so.
This post originally appeared on BUST and can be read here.