Eating habits don’t just show on our overall health and fitness levels. What we eat can also affect our brain health and mental agility. Most people notice a decline in their memory that naturally comes with age. While this is a normal phenomenon to some extent, nutritional deficiencies could also play a role in age-related memory problems. Luckily, science has long discovered the role of nutrition on brain health which means there are foods out there we know can help boost memory. Here are the top 7 foods you should try for better memory performance.
Fish is considered the best source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These essential fatty acids which are normal constituents of brain cells are also essential for normal brain functioning. Because the body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, it is important to get these essential nutrients from fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. Studies on omega-3 fatty acids mostly focused on their ability to reduce the symptoms of psychiatric disorders, but some studies also found that a deficit of omega-3 fatty acids had negatively impacted learning and memory.
2. Beans and lentils
If you ever wondered how to improve your memory with the right kind of meal, eat a bowl of lentil soup, and you are good to go. Beans and lentils are a good source of folate which is a type of B vitamin essential for normal cognitive functioning. A deficit of folate was found in people with depression. Furthermore, folate deficiency in childhood can lead to developmental problems. Taking folate supplements was found to slow down the progression of dementia and enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants. Lentils are probably one of the richest sources of folate, and you only need to eat a small bowl of lentils to get your daily requirements of this essential B vitamin.
3. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc which is a mineral that is essential for learning and memory. Zinc supplements were found in studies to improve memory and mental functioning in zinc-deficient test subjects. These changes were also tied to the hippocampus which is a part of the brain that is most responsible for our ability to remember and learn.
The brain is an organ that is highly susceptible to oxidative stress due to its high oxygen requirements and abundance of building material such as poly-unsaturated fatty acids that are particularly prone to oxidative damage. Antioxidants in blueberries were found to protect the brain against this oxidative stress and improve brain plasticity which, in turn, leads to better learning and memory. One study found that blueberries strong effects on brain functioning improved spatial memory in aged rats.
Also watch video on: Top 4 Healthy Foods to Boost Your Brainpower
Eating your broccoli can help with memory problems due to its high levels of alpha lipoic acids (ALAs). ALAs are types of coenzymes which play a major role in energy homeostasis in certain parts of brain cells. A study on age mice found that administration of dietary ALAs helped improve hippocampal memory. Because ALAs are also known for their antioxidant abilities, their favorable effects on memory are believed to be due to their ability to reduce oxidative stress in the brain.
Almonds contain a great number of nutrients important for brain health making them one of the best snacks for those in need of a memory boost. Almonds are abundant in as vitamin E, folate, fatty acids, and polyphenols which studies found delayed the onset of age-related cognitive decline. One study even found that almonds seemed to increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain which is a neurotransmitter playing a key role in the formation of memories. Considering that some of the top memory pills on the market today focus on increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain for better memory, this makes almonds one of the best natural memory-boosters.
7. Whole grains
Your brain needs energy from whole grains to function normally. Studies show that normal brain functioning is highly dependent on insulin levels. To get healthy and optimal insulin levels reach your brain cells, you should rely on whole grain sources for your carbohydrates such as rye bread, wholegrain pasta, and granola cereals.
Improving your memory with the right kind of diet is scientifically proven to be possible. Because your brain is an organ like any other, it needs the right kind of nutrients to function properly and improve your ability to remember. Eating a balanced diet containing these 7 foods is sure to improve your memory in no time.