Diet can be a major factor in your health, for good and for bad. If you’re trying to protect your brain and improve your memory, there are some foods that will help you do just that. Whether you suffer from Alzheimer’s, are trying to prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia, or simply just want to keep your memory in tip-top shape, try incorporating some of these foods mentioned below to safeguard your brain.
Memory Boosting Foods
Below are some of the richest memory-boosting foods that help promote healthy brain function.
Your brain needs good fats to stay healthy and keep the brain cells working properly. Whereas saturated (bad) fats can actually harm your memory and overall brain health, a healthy consumption of “good” fats can contribute to healthy flow of nutrients and blood in the brain. Of course, avocados are chock-full of these good monounsaturated fats. Try to incorporate ¼-½ of an avocado into your diet every day.
2. Fatty Fish
Another food that is full of healthy fats includes fish. The omega-3 fatty acids in most fish help improve memory and decrease your risk of dementia. Research conducted at the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago has even shown that those who eat one serving of fish per week reduced their memory decline by 12%. To reap the benefits, shoot for a 3-oz serving of fatty fish at least one time per week, but more often if you can. If fish is not a dietary option for you, invest in some omega-3 fish oil pills instead.
Not only are these berries full of antioxidants which support brain health, but they also help improve communication between neurons in the brain. This improved communication can impact learning, memory, reasoning, and decision-making. Try to incorporate ¼ cup of blueberries into your day, or opt for a glass of blueberry juice.
Red grapes are rich in resveratrol which helps boost and protect memory. Even better news—you can gain this same memory benefit by drinking a glass of wine.
Curcumin is found in both turmeric and curry powders. This ingredient works to prevent and slow the formation of plaque deposits in the brain, which often lead to impaired memory. If you like Indian food, you’re in luck, as this food group generally utilizes a lot of curry and turmeric.
The nitrates in beets help dilate your blood vessels which improve blood flow in the brain and improve oxygenation in the brain’s blood cells.
7. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich in antioxidants that help prevent and reduce memory loss. These veggies are also rich in folate, which helps improve blood flow to the brain and decrease inflammation. Studies have shown a correlation between high-folate diets and a reduction in memory loss.
8. Whole Grains and Legumes
These healthy carbohydrates give your brain cells the energy to keep working at their best. Many whole-grain foods and legumes are also rich in folate, so it will act as a double-whammy in terms of supporting your brain and memory.
9. Dark Chocolate
Flavonol, which is found in chocolate, has long been linked to improved brain health. To increase blood flow in the brain and boost your memory, try drinking hot chocolate every day or incorporating a small piece of dark chocolate into your diet. Just make sure you’re getting stuff that is mostly real cocoa, as opposed to added sugar.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which is well-known to help protect the brain against age-related decline. Try incorporating almonds into your salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and more.
While this may come as a surprise, capers are rich in the flavonoid quercetin. This particular flavonoid helps to improve blood flow to the brain and prevent memory loss by decreasing oxidative stress. Other good sources of quercetin include cranberries, buckwheat, and apples.
Shellfish are a particularly good source of vitamin B12, which is a huge factor in preventing memory loss. Try to eat more oysters or mussels to reap the benefits. If you prefer your crustaceans more than shellfish, good news: crayfish, shrimp, and lobster are also excellent sources of the vitamin.
Fans of miso soup, rejoice! Miso is loaded with probiotics, and more research is finding a link between gut and brain health. Incorporate more miso into your diet, and you will not only be keeping your gut regular and healthy, but also reducing your risk for brain impairments and memory loss. If you’re not a fan of miso, opt for yogurt, sauerkraut, or dark chocolate.
Rosemary is perhaps one of the most popular and beneficial memory foods out there. Not only is it a great herb that’s easy to incorporate into your diet, but research has also shown a link between rosemary consumption and improved memory. In fact, some studies suggest that just smelling rosemary everyday may improve brain health.
If you’re looking to protect yourself from memory loss, try incorporating as many of these foods into your diet as possible. It is important to incorporate them now and prevent any brain damage/memory loss before it begins.