Rehab Select Blog

10 Dietary Choices That Can Improve Memory

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Dec 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM

10_Dietary_Choices_That_Can_Help_Your_MemoryMemory loss is a problem that many people face as they reach middle age and beyond. For most, it is a fairly minor –  but very annoying – problem, with small instances of forgetfulness, such as misplacing the car keys, forgetting appointments or having difficulty recalling names. If you've spent entirely too much time lately being annoyed or embarrassed by small memory lapses, you should know that there are things you can do to improve your memory, including increasing brain-healthy foods in your diet. Here are 10 dietary choices that can help prevent or improve memory loss:

  • Fish – Certain types of fish, including yellow fin tuna, salmon and mackerel, really are brain food, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and niacin. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to healthy brain function, especially areas of the brain that support working memory, and plenty of niacin and omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

  • Sweet Potatoes – These bright orange vegetables are very rich in beta carotenes, which have been shown to  offer brain-boosting benefits in terms of overall cognitive function, as well as verbal memory.

  • Blueberries – Studies have linked regular consumption of antioxidant rich blueberries to lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and have shown that they can help prevent or even reverse age-related mental decline.

  • Cranberries – Whole, fresh cranberries are rich in a compound called ursolic acid, which may, according to research, help protect brain cells from injury and degeneration and even reduce cognitive symptoms in neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

  • Spinach – Known primarily for supporting muscle health, this leafy green vegetable is also great for brain health, shown to enhance learning and memory.

  • Egg Yolks – They are rich in choline, an essential nutrient in the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is vital to proper memory formation. Deficient levels of this neurotransmitter have been linked with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.  

  • Apples – An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but it has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, improving cognitive function, including memory.

  • Kidney Beans – With lots of thiamine and vitamin K, kidney beans support the health of brain cells and support cognitive function.

  • Lean Beef – Beef is high in iron, and the iron it contains is very easily absorbed by the body. Iron is essential in transporting oxygen throughout the body, ensuring enough gets to the brain to support optimal brain function. It is also rich in B-12, which is essential to proper neurological function.

  • Red Grapes – Red grapes are rich in resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to aid in preventing oxidative damage in the brain, a factor in age-related memory loss.

Other foods that can especially helpful in supporting brain function and memory include wheat germ, which provides lots of choline and magnesium, red cabbage, which is chock full of antioxidants, and pumpkin seeds, which are rich in glutamate, a  nutrient that aids in the production of brain chemicals that reduce stress. Of course, eating these brain-boosting foods as part of a healthy, varied and nutritionally balanced diet is the best way to support both brain health and overall health and well-being.

Maintaining Memory

Topics: Memory Loss