Forgetfulness is a common age-related issue. Adding the following foods to your daily diet may support brain health and improve memory:
Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, may help improve memory. Even mild iron deficiency can hamper learning, memory and attention. Restoring iron levels to normal can restore cognitive function too. Harvard Medical School researchers found that women who ate the most vegetables, especially green leafy ones like spinach and romaine lettuce, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, experienced a slower rate of cognitive decline than women who ate fewer vegetables.
Berries, especially dark ones such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may boost memory function. Blueberries have been known to reverse memory loss, as well as improve balance and coordination.
Packed with extremely healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, avocadoes work to protect nerve cells in the brain and can improve the brain’s muscle strength. The same fats lead to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure, and both of these, in turn, help the brain to function at its optimum capacity.
Essential for good brain health, omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular, which is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain, may help improve memory in healthy young adults. Higher levels of DHA in the blood mean the brain will operate more efficiently, boost communication among brain cells, and help regulate neurotransmitters responsible for mental focus. Seafood, algae and fatty fish including salmon, blue fin tuna, sardines and herring rank among some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
The primary fuel for the brain is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates such as those abundant in oats. Since the body breaks down the carbs in whole grain oats very slowly, they maintain alertness for several hours. Whole grains can lower the risk of heart disease, which means a healthy heart, and consequently healthy organs.
Beans are known to stabilize glucose (blood sugar) levels. The brain is dependent on glucose for fuel, and since it cannot store the glucose, it relies on a steady stream of energy which beans can provide.
Well-known for their positive impact on heart health, nuts, and walnuts in particular, may improve working memory. Nuts and seeds are good sources of Vitamin E which decreases age-related cognitive decline. Scientists at Tufts University in Boston found that a diet rich in walnuts may improve mental performance. A synergy between the specific type of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in this nut might be at work here to boost brain power.
Loaded with powerful antioxidant properties and several natural stimulants, including caffeine, dark chocolate can enhance verbal fluency, focus and concentration, and stimulates the production of mood-elevating endorphins. Eating a daily portion will improve blood flow to the brain.
These foods are not just good for the brain, they sustain a healthy heart and all parts of the body, and over time they can promote lifelong good health.
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