Berries, fish and green leafy vegetables are 3 of the best foods to combat memory loss. There's a mountain of evidence showing that they support and protect brain health. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and peanuts, as well as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, are brain foods rich in protein and omega fatty acids. Protein is the second largest matter in the brain, second only to water, so it's important to nourish it with protein-rich foods.
Proteins help brain neurons communicate with each other through neurotransmitters that are made of amino acids. Amino acids are also found in proteins, not to mention that they are full of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These are essential fats that our body does not produce, but that we need to consume. Omega fatty acids help build cells to maintain normal brain function, as well as helping to store new memories by creating synapses or connections within the brain.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, are high in omega 3 and, in particular, DHA, a basic component of the brain that improves brain function. A higher intake of omega 3 has been shown to improve memory in Alzheimer's patients. Beans are rich in fiber, B vitamins and omega fatty acids. Fiber helps keep you full longer and creates a gradual release of sugar, helping with concentration and memory so you can maintain a consistent workflow throughout the day.
B vitamins help convert a chemical compound, homocysteine, into other important brain chemicals, such as acetylcholine, which helps create new memories. And, of course, omega fatty acids are essential for brain development and sustenance. Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, omega 3 and B vitamins that support normal brain function. Complex carbohydrates provide a constant supply of energy that regulates mood and behavior, as well as helping with learning and memory.
Quinoa is rich in complex carbohydrates, iron and B vitamins. The brain consumes up to 20 percent of the carbohydrates consumed, which is a lot to represent only 2 percent of your body mass. They provide a constant supply of energy necessary for normal brain function. Iron helps the blood oxygenate the body and is important for attention and concentration.
B vitamins help create brain chemicals that are important for creating memories. Looking for a brain-boosting snack? Almonds (which are actually considered fruits, not nuts) are your answer. Research published in the Brain Research Bulletin shows that almonds can help improve memory function. They also contain large amounts of vitamin E, which has been shown to play an important role in preventing cognitive decline.
Blueberries, which are good for the heart, can also help preserve brain health. A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience showed that supplementing with blueberry extract reduced the severity of age-related decline in certain brain functions. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable that works amazingly in all-season salads, creamy soups, and hearty pasta dishes. But no matter how you choose to eat it, you can't go wrong by adding more broccoli to your diet.
Broccoli contains vitamin K, which a study linked to a lower incidence of memory loss in older adults. The vegetable may also have anti-inflammatory benefits, according to research published in BioMed Research International. These benefits may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Cherries are rich in the same antioxidants found in blueberries and, as a result, may have similar brain-boosting effects.
According to a study published in the journal Food and Function, sour cherry juice may improve memory and cognitive function in older adults. Cherries taste better (and cost less) during certain times of the year, so be sure to know when they're in season so you can stock up. If you're looking for a stimulant other than coffee, here's an idea to get your caffeine fix with a relaxing cup of green tea. The energy drink is full of brain-helping antioxidants.
Research from the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry shows that it can also reduce the risk of suffering from Alzheimer's. But the effects aren't just preventive. Green tea could further strengthen your current memory abilities. A study with green tea extract from the journal Psychopharmacology showed that the substance helped increase connectivity in areas of the brain that aid memory, which could be part of the reason why another study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea actually improved working memory in healthy subjects.
Foods such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have this nutritional contribution, in addition to having the added benefit of naturally having less sugar than many other fruits. .