Your weekly brain-changing content in under 5 minutes:
1. What to order for Mum’s Day brunch.
2. Some people really can’t read anger cues. (Hint: they're likely of a certain age.)
3. Drawing retains new info better than writing. Bonus: new fridge art.
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BRAIN FRIENDLY BRUNCHING
TL;DR: Your brain needs Omega 3s and your body can't make them. Fish = good.
Optimise your brunch
It’s the weekend. High chance you’re brunching. Hopefully with your mum. Why not make it brain-friendly?
You can still have your Sunday roast and achieve this, so don’t fear. Optimising your brunch for your brain can be done in restaurants or by using what’s in your fridge, if you know what you’re looking for.
Which is [drumroll]:
[still going… really feeling this new snare drum]
And those are?
Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the things the body can’t make on its own, so we get them from the food we eat.
The easiest way to get Omega 3s via food is fish. And if fish isn’t your thing, here are the next best sources:
Flax and chia seeds
Soybeans and soybean oil
Meats and dairy from grass-fed animals
It's important to note that your body doesn't absorb plant-based sources of Omega 3s as easily as fish, so double up on those options to maximize your intake.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but the whole point of this newsletter is to summarise things for you, so...
You’re welcome and end of list.
Wait, what kind of fish?
Choose fatty sources of fish for high Omega 3 content. Good options: mackerel, salmon, sea bass, sardines.
What's so great about Omega 3s?
The cell membrane of brain cells is made up partly of Omega 3s.
They work to preserve membrane health and make sure brain cells communicate to each other. Studies have shown that a lack of dietary Omega 3s can lead to deficits in learning and memory.
The love is strong
We love and believe in Omega 3s so much that we've sourced the world's most bio-available plant-based Omega 3 algae oil for our upcoming product launch. More to come!
Fish. Walnuts. Eggs. And if you feel like getting creative in the kitchen: Walnut crusted salmon, anyone?
And if you're looking for a high-qual, non-fish source of Omega 3s: check these out. Ethically sourced and clean, just how I like my algae.
FOR THE NERDY: How Omegas do their thing [source: Healthline.com - How Omega-3 Fish Oil Affects Your Brain and Mental Health]
ALL THE FEELS
TL;DR: Sensitivity to anger cues decrease as we age. So if you’re mad and texting someone older, lay down some extra 😡😡😡 (jk) (sort of).
Okay, I’m not actually advocating passive aggressive emoji laying down. If you’re mad, just do what all British people do and pretend everything’s fine communicate openly.
But here’s something to be aware of which may explain why sometimes talking between generations can feel like wires are getting crossed. They actually kind of are.
Emotional sensitivity: there’s a test for that?
Yes, there is. And 10,000 people got theirs tested by researchers from the McLean Hospital’s Laboratory for Brain and Cognitive Health Technology.
In a new paper published in the Journal of Experimental psychology, the study found that as we age our visual perception abilities decline. For older adults, this means their emotion-detectors are off.
In particular, the paper found that sensitivity to anger declines with age.
On a lighter note (because I definitely don’t want to leave you hanging on an angry note), sensitivity towards happiness didn’t change. Yay!
Over communicating is usually a good idea
Most of us aren’t mind readers, and combined with the findings from this study it’s a good idea to go ahead and extra-express yourself to your parents and grandparents — they may not pick up on your usual subtle cues that everything’s not cool.
Or, you know — practice some self awareness techniques and chill yourself out instead.
FOR THE NERDY: U mad? [source: National Center for Biotechnology Information - How Sensitivity to Emotions Changes Across the Lifespan]
DRAW IT OUT
TL;DR: Drawing works better than writing when it comes to retaining new info.
Bust out the crayons
Good news for all of us: the relaxing act of doodling hearts and cats (just me?) — actually serves a purpose in brain function across different age groups from youngish to oldish.
The researchers at the University of Waterloo tested both undergrads and aging adults in this study and both showed improved brain retention with drawing. It was slightly extra effective in the older group.
No buts. The researchers from the University of Waterloo found that even if you’re not good at it, (and let’s be honest, isn’t art in the eye of the beholder?) drawing as a method to help retain new information was better than re-writing notes, visualization exercises, or passively looking at images.
If researchers say we’re all artists, who are we to argue?
If your brain was a person, picking up a drawing tool would be like hitting the gym to pump some iron with the muscles that retain memory.
Specifically, that part of the brain is involved in visuospatial processing — how your brain interprets images and pictures, which stays mostly intact in normal aging, and in dementia.
The reason drawing led to better recall than the other techniques in the study is because it integrates multiple ways of representing info, including: visual, spatial, verbal, semantic, and motoric.
All the ways.
Ready, set... draw!
Why not start flexing your visuospatial processing powers now? The next time you’ve got new information to retain or share, invite everyone to grab a pen and see what happens.
After spending Mother's Day explaining what exactly your job is again to your mum or your partner's mum, you might end up with some interesting new art.
FOR THE NERDY: Time to let your inner artist out [source: Neurosciencenews.com - Drawing is Better Than Writing For Memory Retention]