We rely on our memories in every academic subject we study. Our memory also guides us in most every life pursuit and activity we carry out. What we eat can dramatically affect how our brains and bodies function. Our diets can have a powerful impact on our memory and recall abilities. Here are four foods that can boost your memory while also helping you to be an all-around healthier individual.
Blueberries and other dark colored fruits and vegetables (such as those that are red or purple) contain anthocyanins. These powerful compounds can delay short-term memory loss. Researchers at Tufts University studied this effect and found that along with aiding memory, blueberries can also benefit balance and coordination. So whether you are hunkering down for a study session or practicing for the upcoming season in your sport of choice, blueberries are an excellent snack choice
2. Dark Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables offer a variety of health benefits, including being supportive to the brain, neurological system, and memory. One of the reasons for this is that they contain folic acid. Folic acid breaks down an amino acid known as homocysteine which can harm brain nerve cells. Homocysteine has also been linked to heart disease. This category of vegetables includes spinach, broccoli, kale, and collard greens, among others. Studies of Alzheimer patients found that consumption of these veggies was “strongly linked to lower levels of cognitive decline in older age.” The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that not having enough folate in your diet can cause depression and cognitive decline. Protect your brain by consuming your greens– combining them in a smoothie with blueberries and other fruits is a great way to get a daily serving.
3. Olive Oil
The National Center for Biotechnology Information also reports that “[p]olyphenols are potent antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil…antioxidants have been shown to reverse age- and disease-related learning and memory deficits.” Antioxidants are able to fight inflammation in your body, including in your brain. Olive oil also contains vitamin E. Martha Clare Morris, ScD of Health.com shares that “vegetable oil-based salad dressings” are high in vitamin E, which protects neurons (brain cells).
An Archives of Neurology 2002 study found that vitamin E can slow mental decline. So a green leafy salad with an olive oil based dressing is an excellent choice when you want to practice mind and memory care! Avocados are also rich in vitamin E and are delicious in a salad.
Fresh sage can be added to a cool meal or to a hot meal near the end of cooking to preserve its beneficial oils. Sage oil can also be taken in capsules. Sage acts as stimulant that can energize and boost brain function. Science Daily reports that in a British study, young adults performed notably better on word recall tests when they had consumed sage capsules. Sprinkling chopped sage on your fresh salad with other herbs such as rosemary and thyme can add tasty flavor variety as well as health benefits.
It’s a good idea to watch your overall cholesterol intake because, unfortunately, cholesterol plaque buildup in blood vessels can damage your body’s tissues, including your brain tissue. A “Mediterranean Diet” that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in dairy and red meat is often recommended as a brain and heart healthy plan. Getting regular exercise is also an essential part of stress-relief and brain-nourishment. Aerobic exercise can even boost the size of the parts of the brain used for memory, the hippocampus. So, to care for and enhance your memory, make informed food choices and keep moving!
Written by Julia Travers
Contact us today to learn more about our Summer Tutoring Packages!