It may be unappealing to everyone but the Brits, but Marmite is some serious brain food, thanks to its high levels of vitamin B12.
A recent study from psychologists at the University of York studied the effects of eating the popular yeast spread on brain activity. They monitored a group of 28 volunteers and divided them in half. One half ate a teaspoon of peanut butter daily for a month (the control group), and the other ate a teaspoon of marmite for a month. Afterward, the participants were tested on "brain cell excitability" in their cerebral cortex. The group that had consumed Marmite showed a 30 percent lower response activity to stimuli.
This is actually a good thing: Vitamins like B12 can help reduce the “background noise” of stimuli to help maintain a healthy brain that can easily focus. Scientists say that the vitamin found in Marmite "regulates the delicate balance of activity needed to maintain a healthy brain.” They also suggested regular consumption could help decrease epileptic seizures and reduce chances of dementia.
“[Regulating brain activity] is important for preventing overactive neural responses, which might in extreme cases result in seizures,” study author Dr. Daniel Baker said in a statement.
Although eating marmite by the spoonful may not exactly help you ward off serious brain disorders, if you’re looking to boost your smarts, try checking out these other foods rich in B12: sardines, beef liver, red meat, salmon, and whole milk.