A recent government report found that one in nine Americans aged 45 and older say they’re experiencing cognitive decline, which includes memory loss.
While frequent memory lapses or brain fog may be common in your 40s, 50s, and 60s, too often they’re written off as a normal part of aging.
They are not normal. The time to be proactive about protecting your memory is now.
One of the best ways to ensure your memory stays sharp is to include an abundance of foods and nutrients in your diet that have been shown to support brain health.
Here are some of the top memory-boosting foods and nutrients you can begin eating today!
Top Memory-Boosting Foods & Nutrients to Eat Every Day
Omega-3 Rich Fish
One of the most studied foods for brain health, fatty fish – such as sardines, wild salmon, and mackerel – are high in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are critical to brain health and memory.
Sixty percent of your brain is made up of fat, and DHA is the most abundant omega-3 found in the brain. It’s important for maintaining nerve cell structure and function.
Additionally, DHA is linked to memory, learning, and cognitive processes. Multiple studies indicate a diet rich in both EPA and DHA helps to slow mental decline.
The recommended daily allowance of vegetables is three cups a day. Sadly, most Americans consume only about one cup of vegetables a day.
Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols that help keep your brain and memory healthy and sharp. Choose vegetables of various colors such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and red onions.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, add a powerful punch of protection. They contain sulforaphane, known to assist DNA repair. They’re also high in folate and carotenoids, which lower homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with cognitive decline and memory loss at higher levels.
Fruit and Berries
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and acai berries are high in antioxidants, which help to minimize damage caused by free radicals in the body and provide many benefits for the brain. One study found that people who consumed more berries experienced a slower rate of cognitive decline.
In addition to the bounty of fruits available in the spring and summer, be sure to enjoy fall apples and winter citrus too!
Herbs and Spices
You can spice up your meals and help your memory at the same time. A host of herbs and spices are associated with improved memory:
- Rosemary and sage may help to improve memory and offer protection from cognitive decline.
- Cinnamon has been found to improve working memory in older adults.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties.
- According to one study, just the scent of peppermint can improve memory and focus.
- Thyme helps protect neurons in the brain from aging too soon. It also helps increase the amount of active omega-3 DHA in the brain, which boosts memory and overall brain health.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, minerals, and nutrients that are needed to power our brain’s memory function.
A study involving 5,000 people over the age of 55 found that a group eating at least two teaspoons of nuts per day was associated with improved memory and increased cognitive function by as much as 60%, compared to a group that didn’t eat nuts.
Nuts and seeds – such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, and cashews – are rich in magnesium, which is needed in adequate amounts for healthy memory function.
Dark Chocolate Goodness
Consuming dark chocolate, rich in cocoa flavanols (a type of flavonoid), increases cerebral blood flow and can be effective at sustaining cognitive performance, leading to improvements in measures of general cognition, attention, processing speed, and memory.
Yes, you heard that right, dark chocolate is good for your memory.
Further, consuming cocoa flavanols from chocolate can provide cognitive-enhancing effects. So, enjoy dark chocolate guilt-free. Just remember to eat it in small amounts!
Powerful Potassium-Rich Foods
Potassium boosts memory and learning in healthy individuals. Conversely, memory loss is a common problem in people who are deficient in potassium.
The foods highest in potassium include beet greens, salmon, white beans, avocado, potatoes, acorn squash, mushrooms, bananas, and tomatoes.
Maintain Your Memory
Remember to eat these memory-boosting foods to both enhance your ability to retrieve the information you need and recall the personal experiences that give your life meaning.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
- Best Foods to Increase Blood Flow & Circulation - October 16, 2020
- 4 Simple Changes to Be More Sustainable in Your Home - October 10, 2020
- Top Memory Boosting Foods to Eat Every Day - October 6, 2020