Brain food - is it real? Is there such thing as a magical bean that will make you smarter? How about a golden fruit that will grant you magic, memory powers? In truth, there are actually some foods out there that will bolster your brain power and improve your memory. They may not have the extreme, instant effect most people would be looking for, since those foods only exist in fiction, but here is a list of 10 foods you can include in your daily diet to help improve your memory:
- Blueberries: Berries have always been known to be very beneficial to the body. But did you know that blueberries, in particular, are also very beneficial to the mind? Studies have shown that a phytochemical known as anthocyanin, which is found in blueberries, contains memory-boosting properties. Anthocyanin can help reverse a decline in memory due to aging, and ranks low on the glycemic index, making it a suitable food for those who need to keep a close watch on their blood sugar levels.
- Apples: While an apple a day can help keep the doctor away, it can also help you with your memory. Apples contain an antioxidant known as quercetin, which has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease in recent studies. Like blueberries, red apples also contain anthocyanin, primarily in the skin.
- Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acid, a nutrient found in salmon, is known for having numerous health benefits. One of these benefits is its ability to help with brain function and development. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can lower the risk of cell inflammation that triggers a decline in memory.
- Spinach: Spinach and other leafy green vegetables have been shown to slow memory decline due to aging. Spinach is also rich in folic acid, a nutrient known for reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
- Red onions: Red onions have anthocyanin and quercetin, making it an excellent memory food. Not only does it help prevent Alzheimer's disease, it can also help reverse age-related memory loss. Yellow and white onions are also beneficial for memory improvement since both contain a decent level of quercetin.
- Nuts and seeds: Various nuts and seeds are great sources for vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that can help reduce a decline in memory as you age. Look for hazelnuts, dry almonds and sunflower seeds to boost your supply of vitamin E.
- Lean beef: The iron content of lean beef is very important to a person's memory. Studies have shown the possibility of a link between iron deficiency and memory loss. Iron is important to the body and helps keep the mind sharp. Those who are suffering an iron deficiency can become anemic and start to lose their memory.
- Grapes: Darker grapes, like red and purple, contain quercetin and anthocyanin. Their memory boosting abilities are similar to blueberries since they also contain a significant amount of these phytochemicals. Red wine is also a good source for quercetin and anthocyanin, but drinking too much red wine can actually negate its memory enhancing capabilities. Remember to always drink in moderation when considering red wine for its health benefits.
- Rosemary: Eating or even smelling the scent of rosemary has been said to have positive effects on your memory. It helps increase the blood flow to your brain, allowing sufficient oxygen for higher levels of concentration. Compounds found in rosemary have also been said to reduce the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a chemical compound that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. A reduced level of acetylcholine has been associated with a decline in memory, making rosemary an excellent food and stimulant to protect one's memory.
- Caffeine: To many people, the positive effect of caffeine on a person's memory is a no-brainer. However, there have been numerous studies on caffeine's effect on a person's memory, all of which displayed mixed results of both positive and negative effects. The final verdict had the positive effects of caffeine on a person's memory outweighing the negative effects, especially in middle-aged adults.
Foods Bad for Your Memory
While you may be looking at ways to improve your memory, don't forget to avoid the things that may cause your memory to decline. Here is a list of foods that can have a negative effect on your memory:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Foods high in sugar content
- Fatty foods
If you are having a hard time deciding whether a food has a negative impact on your memory, just remember, if it is bad for your body, it is probably bad for your brain.