While we take care of our body parts including heart, digestive system, lungs, and skin, we also need to take care of our brain. A strong brain, displays health and vitality of your memory power. The brain has been found to have tendency to adapt to things, even in old age and react in ever changing situations of this life. This ability of brain is known as neuroplasticity. But to make such decisions and changes, your brain needs to stay healthy and active. Your gray matter needs to stay working and brain cells need to stay firm and healthy.
Whatever age, nobody likes a demented brain. It’s true that aging may lead to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other such age related memory issues but there are many more factors that causes memory loss. However, everybody wants to stay sharp and on their wits at all times. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a retired senior, you would like your cognitive faculties to stay atop of their capabilities and facilitate you with good memory and a functioning brain.
The power of neuroplasticity can be harnessed to increase the efficiency of cognitive faculties, enhance learning ability and improve the memorizing power of the brain. While there are a lots of tricks to boost memory, in order to maintain this power of the brain, you also need a regular intake of certain nutrients that help in functioning of brain and in keeping it healthy. In fact, the right food is one of the home remedies for memory loss.
Here is a list of best foods to boost memory, those that you can include in your diet to keep your brain healthy and give a boost to your memory.
The delicious blueberries have loads of phytochemicals in them. And these phytochemicals have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on your brain and body! Blueberries also contain the polyphenols, anthocyanins that have been shown to increase signaling in brain centers related to memory. Anthocyanins also helps the brain get rid of glucose which affects memory negatively. They help protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce the effects of severe conditions like, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. All these make blueberries one of the best foods for boosting memory. In fact, blueberries are one of the best anti-aging foods in all senses!
How to have blueberries to boost memory!
The best way to have these delicious dark fruits to help your brain boost memory is to have blueberry juice every day. Drink at least two and a half cups of wild blueberries juice daily. If that’s too much for you, have at least 1 to 1-1/2 cups of juice and 1-2 servings of whole blueberries fruit. However, if you are in your 70s fighting with age-related memory problems, it’s highly recommended that you take two and a half cups of wild blueberry juice daily!
Being one of the best sources of choline, egg makes for one of the best foods for your brain. Choline is known to be an important nutrient which produces acetylcholine which acts as a neurotransmitter for the brain. This neurotransmitter facilitates efficient working of brain, receiving and sending messages from it. This also facilitates in retention of information and overall boost to memory. Choline also reduces inflammation in the brain, a condition that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s, as you might be knowing, is a condition related to aging of brain that results from weakened or damaged thought processing, poor memory and unpredictable behaviour.
How to take boiled eggs to boost memory!
When having your boiled egg as a weapon to boost memory, do not forget to eat its yolk because it is where the choline is found!
Walnuts are rich in alpha – linolenic acid which helps in producing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that has been found to not only boost brain functioning in adults but also in brain healing. One of the researches founded Omega-3 fatty acids to have antidepressant and neuroprotective properties. The aging people who consumed more of omega-3 miraculously increased gray matter brain volume. Walnuts are also rich in vitamin E that helps brain cells to stay healthy and prevent deterioration in its condition.
How to take walnuts to boost memory!
Just eat a handful of walnuts daily, as a snack or as a part of your meal! It’s as simple as that!
When it comes to DHA, fish, especially the oily fish are also one of the best sources of this omega-3 fatty acid and other essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs, as the name suggests, are essential for the general working of your body including brain! They facilitate smooth working of brain cells and better retention power. These fatty acids are not produced by the body and thus are needed to be taken in through food.
What fish to take to boost memory!
You can eat such fish as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers.
Pumpkin seeds that people usually discard, are actually one of the best foods to boost memory! How? They are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as magnesium and zinc. Zinc has been found to help significantly in improving memory and cognition. In some studies, it has also been found that deficiency of zinc in the body can lead to impaired DNA and protein synthesis in brain development. This makes zinc a very important nutrient for the brain and pumpkin seeds are rich in this mineral. Magnesium in pumpkin seeds have a calming effect on your brain, an ideal condition when your brain can work effectively. As for omega 3 fatty acids, you have already read about how important they are when it comes to proper functioning of brain cells! About 8% of your brain’s weight consists of omega-3 fatty acids and they are actually the building block for about 100 billion neurons. So, it is always wise to have foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids if you want to keep your brain healthy and young!
How to eat pumpkin seeds to boost memory!
Now onward, whether you cook pumpkin or carve it out for Halloween, do not throw away its seeds. Do any one of these- toast, roast or grind these pumpkin seeds. While you can add these roasted seeds in any of your favorite dishes including salads, use the ground pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on your yogurt, soups and gravies. You may also grind them to be extra fine powder and use them in your smoothies too!
Leafy Green Vegetables
When you start having more of green leafy vegetables, you are actually adopting the easiest and simplest way of protecting your brain from getting Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. As less as one to two servings of leafy greens every day can make you achieve cognitive ability that you had 11 years ago! One of the studies have shown that eating green leafy vegetables as well as other foods that are a rich source of vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene go a long way to keep your brain healthy and helps it function properly. To have these nutrients help boost your memory, eat leafy greens like kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, and Romaine lettuce etc.
How to have leafy green vegetables to boost memory?
Have cooked kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens as well as the other greens. While raw dark leafy vegetables also provide nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene but in smaller amounts. 1-2 servings of cooked leafy greens is what you need daily to keep your brain healthy and working!
Fruits and Vegetables
While green leafy vegetables are one of the best foods having brain boosting nutrients called vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene, other foods rich in these nutrients can also be had daily and these include the bright colored fruits and vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, squash, cantaloupe melon, sweet red peppers, dried apricots, peas, and broccoli. These and some other fruits and vegetables that can help you keep your brain healthy along with boosting memory can be listed as follows:
- Broccoli and cauliflower– These vegetables are rich sources of choline, the same component that you find in the yolk of boiled eggs, one of the best foods to boost memory! Choline improves cognitive function and learning, boosts memory, and more importantly decreases age-related memory decline.
- Celery– It is a rich source of luteolin, an anti-inflammatory component that helps combat inflammation in your brain. Be aware that inflammation in brain is a crucial cause of neurodegeneration.
- Carrot– It is also a good source of luteolin which diminishes age-related memory loss along with decreasing inflammation of brain.
- Coconut– This is one fruit that contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. About two-thirds of your brain is made up of these fatty acids and thus it is important to have such foods that contain these fatty acids. They make up the outer layer of neurons which transmit information throughout your brain and thus help it keep working. Avocado is yet another fruit that helps you get these fatty acids.
We have already discussed blueberries as well as leafy greens and their importance in boosting memory!
How to have fruits and vegetables to boost memory?
No prizes to guess this! Just have 2-3 servings of fruits every day or make it a rule to have 5 types of fruits that help you boost memory every day. These can be blueberries, avocados, coconut, apricots, citrus fruits, and bananas. Along with fruits, include vegetables in all your meals or have them as snacks. Eat salads prior to your lunch and dinner, have cooked leafy greens along with your breakfast as well as lunch or dinner. Steam vegetables or add them to your dishes to achieve your target of boosting memory by keeping your brain healthy!
Many researches have indicated that the antioxidants found in olives and extra virgin olive oil may effectively guard against memory loss and even Alzheimer’s disease. They contain these antioxidants called tyrosol esters that are a potent class of polyphenols. Many clinical researches have found vascular and brain benefits of these polyphenols. Extra virgin olive oil, in fact, is uniquely a rich source of hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, oleocanthal, and other tyrosol esters. While hydroxytyrosol has neuroprotective effects, oleocanthal is said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by clearing off amyloid protein that damage your brain to a substantial level. These are Alzheimer’s-inducing proteins. Tyrosol compounds not only keep your brain healthy but also is good for your cardiovascular health.
How to have extra virgin olive oil to boost memory?
Just drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top of anything that you eat- salad, sandwiches, soups or anything that may go with little oil!
Yes the brightly colored red tomatoes can also boost your memory by protecting the fatty compounds of your brain. After all, your brain is composed mainly of fats! Tomatoes have carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene, both of which are strong anti-oxidants. They combat free radicals that might give your brain inflammation and which is the root cause of various brain related problems including memory loss as well as diseases like Alzheimer’s.
How to choose and eat tomatoes to boost memory?
As far as possible, buy organic tomatoes that are smaller in size and darker in color. Why organic is understandable but why smaller and darker tomatoes? Because much of the nutrients of tomatoes lie in their skin. And equal quantity of smaller tomatoes and larger tomatoes when compared, the smaller tomatoes have more skin! Darker tomatoes have many other nutrients that are specifically beneficial for brain’s health like anthocyanins.
Now how to eat them. While you can always eat tomatoes raw like in your salads, when you juice and cook them, they become all the more healthy for your brain. This is because cooking concentrates the lycopene present in tomatoes and then changes it into ‘cis-lycopene’ which is easily absorbed into the blood. When eating raw tomatoes, what you can do is add some fat, preferably healthy fat like olive oil to it. Carotenoids get dissolved in fat so that they may be easily absorbed into your bloodstream. Therefore, it always make a sense to make salad dressings with olive oil because not only for tomatoes, this fact is equally true for other veggies too that have carotenoids in them!
Turmeric has curcumin in it. Curcumin has antioxidant properties which tremendously decreases inflammation and swelling. Asian countries like India where turmeric is used in daily cooking have the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s in the world. In fact, curcumin can help in improving learning and spatial memory generally too. Not only this, it also improves concentration of brain neurotransmitters that may boost memory in significant ways. Some of the recent animal research suggest that turmeric also contains another bioactive compound, aromatic-turmerone. This can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain meaning your brain can heal itself! This finding about aromatic-turmerone may largely help the patients of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke!
How to have turmeric every day to help boost memory?
Use a pinch of turmeric powder in whatever you cook, be it scrambled eggs or a bowl of soup or your everyday gravy! Add some of it while you roast your veggies. Or when you saute your leafy greens, sprinkle a little turmeric powder over them while they are still in the pan. You can also add a dash of turmeric powder to your rice dishes to give them a nice yellow color as well as all its health benefits! Why not make turmeric tea too. Simmer it in water or in milk for some time, add honey and enjoy your brain enriching memory boosting turmeric tea.
Now when you know what are the 10 best foods to boost memory but still want to know more, don’t miss reading What Foods are Good for Brain Health!