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Which Foods Improve Memory?

Had any "senior moments" lately? The odds are that as you get older, you'll lose some of your short-term memory. Good nutrition is known to affect memory; studies have shown that eating carbohydrates can improve recollection.

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated whether eating protein and fat similarly affect cognitive performance.

Twenty-two elderly men and women, ages 61-79, completed three verbal memory tests following the consumption of one of four drinks, containing either no nutrients or carbohydrates, fat, or protein only. Each person was tested after consumption of each of the four drinks on four separate days (one drink per day). The verbal memory tests involved word/paragraph recall immediately after ingestion or one hour later.

All three nutrient drinks improved delayed and immediate memory on one test, with the most significant improvements an hour after consumption. Only protein reduced forgetfulness on a separate test immediately after ingestion. The no-calorie drink had no effect on cognitive performance, adding proof that the nutrients, not the liquid, offered the benefits.

Try to eat small, regular meals for constant energy and a good memory. The foods you eat may provide your brain with the boost it needs to function at its best. Also, to avoid long-term memory problems, be sure to eat a balanced diet and take a daily multivitamin supplement.


Kaplan RJ, Greenwood CE, Winocur G, et al. Dietary protein, carbohydrate, and fat enhance memory performance in the healthy elderly. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001:74, pp. 687-693.

To read more studies on good nutrition, check out


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