You may already be aware of healthy foods that can help fuel your body and daily activity level, but did you also know that food plays an important role in maintaining your memory and cognitive ability? It’s true, and there are more studies coming out all the time showing that certain foods make especially great “brain food.”
So what should you be adding to your diet to help stay sharp and focused?
Dark berries like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and even cherries contain anthocyanins, which, according to some new and interesting studies, are shown to help boost memory function. Berries are a sweet way to stay precise in your thinking. The best part? Berries and cherries are beneficial to your brain, no matter how you prepare them. Mixed into yogurt? Baked into a healthy muffin? Dried? Canned? Yes!
Any way you can get your hands on them, berries are helpful to your brain.
Dark, Leafy Greens
If you have taken an active interest in your own health, you have probably run across articles praising these foods for their beneficial properties. Turns out, they’re helpful for brainpower too!
Kale, spinach, broccoli and collard greens all contain high amounts of vitamin E and folate. Folate is being studied now for its ability to interrupt homocysteine in your system. Homocysteine has been linked to the death of brain cells, and these foods seem to have an ability to stop that process.
Yes, we just said “fatty.” Dietary fat is important, but fish offers up a particularly important kind of fatty acids; Omega-3. Fish are also rich DHA, which is a fatty acid found in the brain. Taking in foods that keep up your supply of Omega-3 and DHA can keep your brain functioning properly. Look for fish like tuna, salmon, herring and even sardines. These fish are especially high in the nutrients you need. Remember that it’s always healthier to grill or bake fish. They are already oily, so you don’t need to add any extra fats for flavor.
Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats, which are shown to prevent inflammation in the brain. Keeping your brain healthy is key to maintaining your memory, so eating nuts as part of your diet can have a positive impact. Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are the heaviest hitters in this category.
Yep. Peanuts get their own category because they technically aren’t nuts – they’re legumes. So, in other words, peanuts are more “pea” than “nut”. Even though they are regarded as high in fat and calories, they are also high in vitamin E, which has been shown to increase overall brain health. Spreading some natural peanut butter on some whole grain toast is a tasty way to feed your brain and boost your memory.
Some of these foods are high in calories, but when eaten in moderation, and in addition to some healthy movement, they can help improve your memory. If you keep a food diary, you can keep track of the effects of these brain boosting foods, and see the benefits for yourself.