Reach for the rosemary, scientists say it improves memory

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Reach for the Rosemary, Scientists Say it Improves Memory

Eating walnuts, sardines and spinach to improve memory is old hat -- but there's a new ingredient you may want to add to your memory-boosting diet. Rosemary.

Scientists in the U.K. say the herb is linked to better memory, and that simply being in a room diffused with the smell of rosemary improved memory test scores by 15 percent.

SEE ALSO: Make any avocado go from inedible to perfectly ripe in 10 minutes

That might not seem like that much, but researchers at Northumbria University say it could mean the difference between remembering whether or not to take your pills.

Translation: It could technically be life or death.

To test rosemary's effects on memory in older people, scientists split up a group of 150 adults and placed them in rooms scented with rosemary, lavender or no aroma.

Related: Cooking hacks to make your kitchen life easier:

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Reach for the rosemary, scientists say it improves memory

Cut onions without crying

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Chopping onions may look like emotional work, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Save the tears for someone (or something) else by placing onions in the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Chilling onions keeps tear-jearker compounds—propanethial S-oxide—at bay by reducing evaporation.

Find ripe avocados

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Avocados can be a fickle fruit, and knowing when an avocado is ripe is one of cooking’s greatest mysteries. If the stem at the top pulls away from the fruit easily, it’s ready to eat. Avoid squeezing as it can cause undue bruising.

Keep ice cream soft

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Eating ice cream is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The same cannot be said for scooping the frozen dessert. Storing pints—or cartons—of ice cream in Ziploc bags in the freezer keeps consistency in check. Proper storage and temperature prevent formation of ice crystals that can mess with ice cream’s creamy texture.

Remove shells from hard-boiled eggs

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Eggshells present a multitude of challenges in the kitchen, whether it’s ensuring they don’t end up in the frying pan or removing them from hard-boiled eggs. Cooking eggs for the optimal time is helpful. After cooking, gently tap the top and bottom of the egg, then roll it with the palm of your hand to make the shell come off in one fell swoop.

Roast peppers using a steamer

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You can thank the Food Network’s resident smart guy, Alton Brown, for this pepper-roasting hack. Collapsible steamers can double as pepper roasters when placed directly on stove burners. Add the peppers, roast for about seven minutes, cover with a metal bowl, remove from the open flame, and steam for at least 10 minutes.

Prevent asparagus from burning

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Cooking asparagus evenly can be a challenge, due to its delicate tips and thick stems, which cook at different rates. Baking asparagus by folding the edges of heavy-duty foil into a makeshift pan helps prevent tips from burning. If the tips are fully cooked, but the bottom of the stems still have some time to go, fold the foil over the tips to create a protective blanket. 

Put fruit in its place

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Assembly is everything when it comes to expertly served sangria. The cream rises to the top, and for all intents and purposes fruit is sangria’s cream. To keep the fruit at the bottom of the glass, add it first, then ice, and then pour the drink.

Replace knives with floss

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Poorly cut cake is the ultimate party foul. Knives cannot be trusted for a clean cut, but dental flossnever fails. Unscented floss works in a few ways. When making a cake, you can cut layers by wrapping the floss around the cake’s perimeter, then crossing the ends and pulling; this makes for a crumb-less cut. After the cake is baked and frosted, floss can help you cut the perfect slice too: Hold each end of the floss tightly, then push it down through the cake, much like you would with the blade of a knife. This trick can also be used for cutting soft cheeses, such as brie, or hard-boiled eggs.

Cut cherry and grape tomatoes

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Tiny tomatoes of the grape and cherry variety are fast movers. Cutting them one by one is time-consuming, but that’s not the only way to get the job done. Place tomatoes between two lids (the ones from Tupperware or yogurt containers will do) that are facing each other, and run a serrated knife through the space in the middle of the lids, cutting the whole batch with one quick pass of the blade.

Peel garlic without making your hands smell

Photo credit: Joseph Clark/Getty

Garlic peeling hacks abound, but violently shaking the cloves in a jar is a surefire way to avoid smelling like garlic. The movement will separate the garlic from the skin, so all you have to do is chop.

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Essentially, they then asked the participants to play a giant game of telephone, passing on a message and swapping tasks at specific times.

Researchers found those in the rosemary room performed much better on the memory tests than the other two.

Scientists admit more studies must be conducted, but it's the first time rosemary has been linked to improving brain function in healthy people over 65.

So get cooking! Garlic and rosemary chicken, anyone?

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