I help many clients in Brentwood, CA choose foods that help build muscle tissue, lose weight and create a healthy body, but today, I want to focus on the mind and the memory. These foods are normally part of a healthy diet, but you can increase them if you’re interested in their effect on the brain. Keeping your brain healthy is a top priority if you want to live a long and meaningful life. It’s more than just being able to answer all the questions on Cash Cab or Jeopardy, it’s enjoying every minute of learning and conversation through senior years.
Fatty fish, like salmon, contain Omega3 fatty acids.
Whether you eat trout, salmon or sardines, you’ll boost your omega-3 fatty acids. The brain needs fat. In fact, about 60 percent of the brain is fat and of that 60 percent, half of it is omega-3 fatty acid. The brain needs it as a building block. It has been shown to slow age related decline and prevent Alzheimer’s. Lack of this nutrient is also linked to aggression and depression. It boosts memory and mood, while preventing age related brain decline.
Turmeric is a brain protector and caffeine boosts brain functioning.
The curcumin in turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s the part of turmeric that can actually can directly enter the brain and provide benefit to the cells. It helps new brain cells grow, improves mood, may benefit memory and may even help prevent and clear the amyloid plaques that begin with Alzheimer’s. The caffeine in coffee and green tea boost your alertness, improves concentration and boosts your mood. Green tea has other substances, such as L-theanine. It also can cross the blood-brain barrier to help the brain. It helps you relax while keeping you alert. The polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea help protect the brain and green tea also boosts memory.
There are a number of nutrients and foods that boost memory.
Eggs are high in choline, a true memory booster. They also have other B vitamins that help brain functioning and boost your mood. Tree nuts not only help cognitive functioning, they help prevent brain damage. One study showed that women who ate nuts frequently had a far better memory. If you’re choosing the best nut, walnuts have all the good nutrients, plus Omega-3 fatty acids. Fruits and vegetables like oranges and red peppers are sources of vitamin C that also protects the brain.
- Eating dark chocolate can improve your memory. It’s the flavonoids in dark chocolate that protect the brain, while improving both memory and mood.
- Grab a handful of pumpkin seeds. They contain nutrients necessary for a healthy brain, such as copper, magnesium, iron and zinc.
- Food that has an anti-inflammatory effect, like broccoli, are also good for the brain. Inflammation is linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Put blueberries in a smoothie or on your breakfast cereal to get the anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It can improve memory and even delay short-term memory loss.