In the News: Forgetfulness May Make You Smarter, Mindfulness May Reduce Blood Sugar, Lectin-Free Diet Is the Latest Diet Fad

Forgetfulness may make you smarter. As it turns out, having a perfect memory may not be as brag-worthy as it seems. A report out of the journal Neuron, indicates that forgetting everyday things may increase intelligence. Researchers at the University of Toronto posit that the point of memory is to improve decision-making by only retaining the most important things and releasing the rest. When studying memory and brain activity in mice, researchers found that old memories were regularly swapped with new ones, which lead to more informed decision-making and increased activity in the hippocampus. (CNN)

Mindfulness may reduce blood sugar. Penn State University researchers studied 86 overweight and obese participants to determine how stress impacted their health. They randomly assigned mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) courses to some women and assigned general health courses to the other women. After tracking the results for eight weeks, they determined that the MBSR group was significantly less stressed than the group in the general health courses. While both groups did improve in terms of mood, sleep, and psychological issues, only the MBSR group had lowered blood sugar levels. While more research is required, these findings show that practicing mindfulness may provide significant physical benefits. Feeling stressed? Here’s how to go from manic to mindful in just five minutes. (TIME)

Lectin-free diet is the latest diet fad. Just as going gluten-free was a huge diet trend just a few years ago, it appears that going lectin-free is the new big thing. Lectins are specific proteins found in grains and beans. While research has shown that lectins may have positive and negative effects, a lot of online gurus are writing them off entirely, suggesting that lectins can cause irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, and inflammation. However, nutritionists point out that the the type of lectin you choose, and the preparation, can play a role in terms of health benefits. If you are indeed suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, try this plan to find relief. (WP)