03 Aug Memory
Everyone wants a better memory. We all have mind blanks when trying to remember shopping lists, birthdays and even pin numbers. There is a way to make this easier.
To remember something like a phone number or a pin number you can use a psychological shortcut called “chunking”.
Chunking is a way to group items together in order to use less brain power.
The way our brain works when it sees 103483 is as 6 individual numbers, one, then zero, then three and so on.
But if you chunk the numbers together you get 10 (ten), 34 (thirty four) and 83 (eighty three). This is half the cognitive load and our brain loves being lazy and using shortcuts.
So you might ask, “why can’t our mind just chunk the 6 numbers all into one?” Research has shown specifically with numbers the limit is around 3 to 4 new numbers.
You can also chunk items or jobs. Placing similar items together helps with recall. Look for Connections: as you are creating groupings, look for ways to relate things to each other in meaningful ways. What do the items share in common? You might group items together because they share a similar purpose.
Supermarket shopping list:
Can we connect these things:
Breakfast – Eggs, bacon, mushroom, oil, onion, coffee and milk.
Sounds like an alright breakfast.
Then we are left with banana, lettuce and ice cream.
So let’s go banana ice cream served in a lettuce leaf… I don’t know about you but I can see in my mind 2 huge scoops of banana ice cream, served in a lettuce leaf, haha!
But what does this all have to do with food? Our gut helps keep our body’s immune responses and inflammation under control. Additionally, gut hormones that enter the brain or are produced in the brain influence cognitive ability, like understanding and processing new information, staying focused on the task at hand and recognising when we’re full.
Plus, brain foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals provide energy and aid in protecting against brain diseases. So, when we focus on giving our bodies whole, nutritious foods benefiting both the gut and the brain, we’re actually benefiting our minds and bodies while keeping them both in perfect working order.
Some examples of these foods are avocado, beetroot, blueberries, bone broth, broccoli, celery, coconut oil, egg yolks, extra virgin olive oil and vegetables especially greens, so remember to always add these foods to your plate.