Fat, suggests a study, may be the secret to remembering important things -- like where you put your keys or how to navigate one-way streets to a favorite restaurant.
History: Eating and retaining memos was once a survival tool when our ancestors found a source of nourishing food, it was helpful to remember how to get back for more.
Science behind: When digesting Fats containing Oleic Acid – a ‘good’ monounsaturated fatty acid found in ==> olive oil, fish, nuts and soybeans, the small intestine produces a molecule called oleoylethanolamide (OEA).
OEA binds to a receptor in the gut, which sends signals to the brain.
- One of these signals ends up in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, where it conveys a satisfying sense of fullness.
- A second message winds up in the amygdala, the almond-shaped center of the brain where emotionally charged memories are cemented into long-term memories (think: your wedding or where you were on September 11, 2001).
Still, with a newly clarified picture of how OEA works, scientists hope to develop drugs that might improve memory and treat brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's.
In the meantime, it can't hurt to eat nuts, salmon, vegetable oils and other sources of healthy fats.
They're good for you and they might help you to remember, especially if you eat them right before an experience you don't want to forget. Fat starts being absorbed-and OEA is at its peak-10 to 20 minutes after a meal. It's then that your gut and brain are primed to strengthen memories!