Forgetful? Boost Your Memory With These 6 Foods

May 29, 2015

Here are some top foods for memory and brain health.

A study recently published in the journal Neurology, further solidifies our understanding of the connection between diet quality and brain health. Unlike previous findings relating specific diets to improvements in cognitive function, this new study suggests that improving overall diet quality is an important factor for lowering the risk of memory and thinking loss. Researchers defined a "healthy diet" as one containing lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, moderate alcohol use and minimal red meat.

Dr. Andrew Smyth, lead author of the study and a nephrologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario Canada said, "The difference in our study is we didn't prescribe a particular diet or explore for a particular diet pattern.”

Here are some top foods for memory and brain health:

Berries: Studies show that those with the highest intake of blueberries and/or strawberries demonstrated about one and half to two and half years of delays in cognitive aging; i.e. thinking, remembering, and reasoning. Researchers think it could be the flavonoids, which are plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids are also found in other food and drinks such as citrus fruits, tea, red wine, and onions. How much do you need to keep your brain sharp? Just a half-cup of blueberries or two half-cup servings of strawberries a week.

Eggs: Whether hard-boiled, scrambled or sunny side up, eggs are a great meal or snack. Eggs are rich in choline, a vitamin-like substance (also plentiful in bacon, nuts, yogurt, and chicken) which helps promotes memory and brain development. In fact, a study recently published by researchers at the University of North Carolina demonstrated that choline helps fetuses develop regions of the brain linked to memory. 

Filtered Water: Dehydration can lead to fatigue, fogginess, and more, so drinking plenty of water is crucial to keeping concentration and energy levels high.

Healthy Fats: Healthy fats help “cushion” the brain; in fact 60 percent of your brain is made up of fat. Salmon, sardine, mackerel and herring are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the brain and eyes (deficiency can lead to anxiety and depression). Avocados are another great fat, as well as coconut, flax, chia and hemp seeds (which are all full of fiber as well).

Lean and Clean Protein: Choosing protein sources that are raised humanely and fed a proper diet or pastured are your best bets. Protein is great to pair with whole grains and can help us feel full longer, avoiding a sharp drop in blood sugar which is a sure energy and brain drain. Ask your local butcher about how you meat was raised. 

Whole Grains: Whole grains are great – most notably oats. Getting your oats in a not so sweet granola is a great way to eat more whole grains. Whole grains in general contain phytonutrients as well as folate and B vitamins that boost memory.

Now that you know some of the best foods and tips for brain health…don’t forget to make a shopping list!