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10 Memory Enhancing Foods to Boost Your Brainpower

Updated on February 13, 2016
JCielo profile image

As a researcher and author, John provides information in an easy-to-understand way that helps readers understand their condition.

Diet and Your Brain

Where's my wallet? Where did I put the keys? What's his name again? Where was I...?

How often has this type of memory lapse happened to you? We all get those lapses from time to time, don't we? And they can be annoying.

But, as we get older, the instances seem to get more frequent and more worrying.

However, we don't have to accept that memory loss is a natural part of the aging process, because, in recent years, research has shown a link between diet and brain function.

In the same way as we have known for years that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of things like heart disease, hypertension, and even some cancers, we now know that a healthy diet can also improve the health of our brains.

In this short article you are going to discover 10 foods to help you boost brain power and improve your memory...

10 Memory Enhancing Foods

1. Fish

Fish, especially oily cold water fish, is a major source of Omega-3 essential fatty acid. Omega-3 helps to maintain the flexibility of neurons' cell membranes in the brain and so helps to maintain their efficiency, vital for cognitive function and memory.

Now, there's a problem with mercury in some oily fish. So stay away from big fish like tuna, marlin, swordfish, shark and king mackerel, etc. Eat smaller fish such as rainbow trout, wild salmon, sardines, pilchards, kippers and herring. Eat a portion of such fish at least once per week.

2.Flax-seed, Walnut, and Other Oils

Flax-seed oil is also an important source of Omega-3. Other good sources are walnut oil, rapeseed, soybeans, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds and omega-3 fortified eggs.

3. Whole Grain Cereals

These are an excellent source of folate, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin B and fiber which can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes that has been associated with memory loss.

But read the labelling carefully, because you want to make sure you buy whole grains, not enriched grains.

4. Beans

Dried legumes, such as kidney beans, black and red beans, navy beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc., are high in folate, which helps to maintain healthy homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine -- a natural amino acid found in the brain -- has been associated with cognitive decline and memory loss.

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits contain antioxidants, folate, potassium and vitamin C, which help to keep the blood vessels healthy. This helps oxygen to reach the brain effectively, helping to improve cognitive ability and memory.

6. Green Leafy Vegetables

These kinds of vegetables are rich in antioxidants which, as with citrus fruits, help to reduce oxidative stress and improve memory and cognitive function. Typical vegetables are kale, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and mustard greens. Eat green leafy vegetables daily.

7. Nuts

Nuts are high in monounsaturated fat, a good fat that lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).This reduces the risk of clogged blood vessels and so helps oxygen to reach the brain. But they are also an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes from damage.

8. Broccoli

Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K, known to improve cognitive ability and brainpower. Other vegetables belonging to the same family are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.

Harvard Medical School researchers -- in a 25 year study of 13,000 women -- discovered that those who consumed the most vegetables had the lowest rates of memory impairment as they aged.

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in 'lycopene,' a very powerful antioxidant that could help to prevent the kind of cell damage associated with dementia and Alzheimer's development.

10. Blueberries

Berries have powerful antioxidants that can protect the body and brain from cellular damage. But, according to the USDA Human Nutrition Center, blueberries have the highest levels.

And, according to Tufts University in the US, blueberries may help to improve or delay short term memory loss.

Choline and Memory Loss - Dr. James Meschino

Many of the above memory enhancing foods also contain a chemical called choline that research over the last few years suggests may help to prevent age-associated memory loss.

Please take a few minutes to listen to Dr. James Meschino on the subject of memory loss and dietary choline...

References

  • http://www.helpguide.org/life/prevent_memory_loss.htm
  • http://www.medicinenet.com/memory_loss/symptoms.htm
  • http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20838622
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_fatty_acid
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/176784-what-is-epa-dha-in-fish-oil/
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/359899-what-are-fortified-breakfast-cereals/
  • http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/wellbeing/features/boost-brainpower/1/

Disclaimer

The content of this Hub is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for proper medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and you should not assume that it is. Always consult your health-care provider / physician / doctor before taking any medications, natural remedies, supplements, or making any major changes to your diet.

© 2013 JCielo

Comments

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    • JCielo profile imageAUTHOR

      JCielo 

      5 years ago from England

      Thanks idigwebsites. Yes, it's amazing just how many things handed down the generations have turned out to have a lot of merit. My gran used to push me to eat fish because it 'gives you brains.' Well, guess what...

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 

      5 years ago from United States

      When my mother once me as a kid to eat more peanuts because they would make me smart and perform better at school, I thought of that as just an old-wives' tale. Until just now I get to read your hub, I realized I should have eaten lots more. But it's never too late! Very informative. Up and useful. :)

    • JCielo profile imageAUTHOR

      JCielo 

      5 years ago from England

      @Gail Meyers @rasta1 @anuramkumar - Thanks so much for leaving your comments. I so appreciate them.

    • anuramkumar profile image

      anuramkumar 

      5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Now I know why I've an excellent memory power..:) Very useful and informative hub.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      5 years ago from Jamaica

      Excellent information. It may be a coincidence that I also have cravings for these foods.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 

      5 years ago from Kansas City - United States

      This is just one more reason to eat right and watch lifestyle choices. It really does become annoying to forget things! At least I think so, but I don't recall. haha This is a very informative hub. Thanks for the information! Voted up and useful.

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