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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Chocoholic

April 17th, 2014 3 comments

Brown_Chocolate

“Chocoholic” – that was my nickname as a kid, and it was an appropriate one since chocolate was the only form of dessert I ate. I can attest to the fact that there is no sweet comfort food quite like chocolate. Seriously though, think of how often you have heard your friends or people in general state something along the lines of “I’m craving something sweet right now,” and they end up eating chocolate, or how many times they express that they “need a piece of chocolate!” We frequently feel these cravings in everyday life and normally do not question them, but do you ever wonder whether there is another reason or force pushing you to crave food, especially sweets and if so, how do you get it to disappear? The answer can actually be you, as demonstrated in the Werthmann et al. study “Attention Bias for Chocolate Increases Chocolate Consumption – An Attention Bias Modification Study.”

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Categories: Attention, Decision Making Tags:

Eat Your Leafy Greens, Grandma!

October 26th, 2013 No comments

I bet you remember as a kid being told by your parents to “eat your veggies, even the greens.” But I bet you don’t remember your parents telling THEIR parents to eat their veggies. The vast effects from eating vegetables and having a healthy diet in younger developmental stages are enumerable, but consequences of diet on elderly populations are often overlooked.

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Figure 1. Vitamin K can be naturally found in several leafy green vegetables, as shown above.

What is in these magical green veggies (lettuce, kale, spinach) anyway? Amongst other things, a notable compound present is vitamin K. This vitamin is most notably used in the body to promote protective blood clotting. However, other potential roles of vitamin K in the brain have been examined in rats. Vitamin K is present in high levels in the brain, and proteins that rely on vitamin K to function are also found in the brain. These same studies found evidence for vitamin K to specifically have effects in the aging brain. Older rats that were fed a vitamin K rich diet had better spatial learning memory than those fed a low vitamin K diet. This phenomenon was only observed in older rats, not the younger populations.  Read more…

Categories: Aging, Memory Tags: ,

Sweet as Pie?–Food Memories and Their Inaccuracies

May 1st, 2013 6 comments

orange-custard-_7Think back to your favorite food.  Is it sweet?  How sweet?  Do you think that you could pick this prized food out of a lineup of nine different versions of this food of varying sweetness, texture, and aroma?  Maybe you think you have a discerning palate that will assist your accuracy, despite the fact that you forgot to actually take note of these factors while eating.  A recent study examines food memory and our accuracy at recalling certain sensory aspects of food that many of us take for granted when we eat.  Findings suggest we may not remember all the aspects of our favorite food as accurately as we might presume.

Food memory is a complex area of study that psychologists still struggle to understand.  There have been a variety of studies examining memory about certain aspects of foods.   Researchers have examined foods ranging from orange juice to yogurt, and examined sensory aspects such as bitterness to thickness.  These results have not all supported one clear way people remember aspects of food, as people report certain food descriptors more accurately than others depending on the food.

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Categories: Memory Tags: