Foods that Help Your Memory Work Better
Diet can have a major impact on brain health. The brain requires a lot of energy, using about 20% of our daily caloric intake. It requires good fuel to function as well as certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Consuming foods rich in these nutrients helps to improve memory and concentration and support a healthy brain. So what are the best foods that help your memory work most optimally?
The Top Foods That Help Your Memory Function Best
- Oily fish – Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most important nutrients our bodies require, and since they are not produced by the body they must be obtained through diet. The brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, making them essential for learning and memory. One of the best and most effective sources of omega-3 fatty acids is oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna.
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are packed with vitamin E, which helps improve memory and protect the brain as we age. Sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts are the most vitamin E-rich sources, while walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of important brain nutrients such as zinc, which is crucial for nerve signaling and helps enhance memory and thinking skills.
- Berries and cherries – Dark berries – such as blueberries and blackberries – and cherries are rich in anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. These antioxidants have been found to improve the brain’s plasticity, which helps brain cells form new connections, thus boosting memory and learning. They can also help reverse the signs of aging in the brain and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Dark chocolate – In moderation, dark chocolate can be beneficial to your brain as it has levels of flavonoids, a group of antioxidant plant compounds that dilate blood vessels, allowing more blood and oxygen to reach key areas of your brain. They may also encourage neuron and blood vessel growth in the parts of the brain that control memory and learning. These benefits are true of dark chocolate only, so be sure to choose chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.
- Coffee and green tea – The two main components of coffee – antioxidants and caffeine – offer numerous brain benefits. In moderation, caffeine gives increased alertness, improved mood and sharpened concentration. Green tea offers the same caffeine and antioxidant benefits as coffee, but it also has specific amino acids that can help reduce anxiety and improve memory.
- Turmeric – The active ingredient in this deep-yellow spice is curcumin, which has been been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to directly enter the brain and benefit the brain cells. It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that can benefit memory, ease depression, and help new brain cells grow.
- Broccoli – In addition to antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, broccoli is very high in vitamin K, packing more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake into just a 1-cup serving. This fat-soluble vitamin has been found to improve memory, specifically your ability to absorb and remember verbal instructions.
- Eggs – Eggs are an excellent source of several key nutrients for brain health, including folic acid, choline, and vitamins B6 and B12. Choline is a micronutrient the body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Studies have found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function. Egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of choline, a nutrient most people are lacking in their diet.
Learn More About Foods That Help Your Memory At Anchor Wellness Center
If you want to learn more about how a healthy diet can improve your brain health, call us today at (832) 246-8437 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM. Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra will use nutritional testing and counseling to guide you on the path to better brain health. Book your complimentary strategy session today.