“You are what you eat” Turns out, it’s very true, especially when it comes to your brain health. In fact, the MIND diet, which focuses on foods that have been shown to keep and improve memory. Brain foods also ideal to improve brain sharpness and help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It is one of the few diets that actually works when it comes to achieving your healthiest self. So why does what we eat matter so much when it comes to your brain’s functions, such as memory and focus?
Stress, the everyday perils of the modern world, aging, environmental factors, and everything we eat can contribute to inflammation. Inflammation releases a cascade of compounds called cytokines and other chemicals throughout the body that can slowly damage brain tissue. This process is known as oxidative stress or damage. “There’s also the concept of the gut/brain axis—that the things we eat can cross the blood/brain barrier and promote disease or fight it in our brains. In other words, your lifestyle choices and what you eat have a direct impact on your brain and how well it works.
Best and Super Foods to Improve Your Memory
Avocados are a source of monounsaturated fats, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids. They’re also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, which aren’t stored in your body and need to be replenished daily. Plus, they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit.These increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants. Avocados also come with many antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E, which protect the body and the brain from free radical damage. They are also a good source of potassium and vitamin K—both protect the brain from the risk of stroke as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, are known to be nutritional powerhouses. But when it comes to enhancing your brain health and, specifically, your memory, broccoli is a superfood for the whole body. It is rich in calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, and vitamin K. These nutrients protect against free radicals, keep blood flowing well, and remove heavy metals that can damage the brain.
Coconut oil is the perfect brain fuel, as it is abundant in medium-chain fatty acids, which are a fabulous energy source for the brain. It contains medium chain triglycerides that the body uses for energy, leaving glucose for the brain. Enhances the ability of the brain’s neurons to use energy while at the same time reducing the production of damaging free radicals. It also seems to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Anything that benefits the heart and circulation also benefits the brain. Coconut oil acts as an anti-inflammatory as well and has been linked to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Delicious way to improve your memory: Eat more berries! Blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries are all memory food musts. Berries have been shown to shield the brain from memory loss and contribute to enhanced memories in various studies. These berries are also antioxidant powerhouses, protecting the brain from oxidative damage and stress that lead to premature aging, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Berries are chock-full of flavonoids, which also improve the communication between neurons, improving memory, learning, and all cognitive function, including reasoning, decision making, verbal comprehension, and numerical anility. Other dark berries are good for the brain too, like blackberry, açai, and goji berries.
Omega-3 fatty acids are implicated in inflammation reduction not only in your brain but your body in general. DHA plays a pivotal role in maintaining the health of brain cells and actually helps to stimulate the growth of brain cells in the brain’s memory center. The sources of omega-3s that are most bioavailable, or easy for the body to absorb are wild salmon, wild tuna, sardines, and herring. Most seafood contains omega-3s, but it’s important to be careful of mercury content and other toxins when eating a lot of fish.
Bone broth can help heal the intestinal epithelial cell lining and prevent dysfunction of the gut/brain axis. Though, this food is totally trendy but this ancient food is full of health benefits, ranging from boosting your immune system, overcoming leaky gut, improving joint health and overcoming food allergies. Its high levels of collagen help reduce intestinal inflammation, and healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning properly and help improve memory.
Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. They are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Vitamin E is best to prevent many forms of dementia by protecting the brain from free radicals, and it improves brain power. Nuts contain some anti-nutrients, like phytic acid. Since we consume a relatively small amount of nuts, this isn’t a huge problem, but they are far healthier if you soak them overnight (about 8 hours) before eating them. Walnuts also contain an antioxidant called ellagic acid, which helps protect the brain from free radical damage.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. Like kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, and lentils. These complex carbohydrates are also mix with fiber that slows absorption, giving us a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associate with many other sugar sources. Beans and legumes are also rich in folate—a B vitamin critical to brain function—and essential omega fatty acids.
Looks like your grain bowl habit has some amazing health benefits. Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate that will give you energy that lasts when your brain needs fuel to perform at its best. Like beans, legumes, and whole grains, quinoa is an excellent source of fiber to balance blood sugar level while providing the essential glucose the brain craves. Plus, quinoa is also best food you can put into your body because it is a natural source of iron, zinc, and protein. Rich in folic acid, quinoa is prove to quicken information dispensation and improve our memory. What’s more, it will keep you feeling satiated so you can focus on your to-do list.
Good news: Your chocolate addiction is great for your memory. The flavonols in chocolate improve blood vessel function, which in turn improves cognitive function and memory. Chocolate also improves mood, can ease pain, and is full of antioxidants. But don’t go wild munching on Hershey’s Kisses just yet. Most of the chocolate you see on supermarket shelves is highly process with few benefits. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits. Skip milk and white chocolates and opt for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa. This ensures you’ll get your choco fix and its brain benefits! Satisfy your sweet tooth with Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies or Chocolate-Covered Berries.
Do you already eat any of these memory-friendly foods?