For most of us, just the thought of losing our memory is terrifying. After all, our memories are what make us who we are. But here’s the thing – you don’t have to just give in to devastating memory loss. You can fight back! Learn how to improve memory before you forget any of your most precious moments for good.
Sure, brain games are great for maintaining memory. And staying social is vital for your brain.
But if you’re already doing those things and you find you’re still suffering from “senior moments” from time to time you’re not alone, and there IS still something you can do to boost your brainpower.
It turns out the answer to how to improve memory can be found right in your own kitchen! You eat for your heart, right? So now it’s time to eat for your brain, too!
How to improve your memory with 15 common foods
Don’t shy away from avocados because you fear the fat – they’re full of the healthy fats you want in your diet. And it turns out those fats are a vital part of how this delicious fruit can help improve your memory.
See, healthy fats keep blood flowing which helps your body maintain healthy blood pressure levels. And while you’re probably used to thinking about circulation and blood pressure impacting your heart they’re both directly related to healthy brain function, as well.
But that’s not all. Avocados are also packed with vitamins A and C, which are linked to lower risks of dementia.
An entire book could probably be written on how to improve memory with blueberries. But we’ll just stick to a few of the highlights today.
Blueberries are brimming with antioxidants, so they’re one of the best foods you can eat to fight back against the kind of oxidative stress that can cause the sort of damage in your brain that leads to memory loss. Plus they may help sweep the toxic proteins that are linked with memory loss out of your brain, even as you age.
And exciting preliminary animal studies have revealed that blueberries may even help increase learning ability!
If you prefer cherries you’re in luck because you can get almost the same protection from cherries that you do from blueberries. The dark red color of a cherry is a hint that this delicious fruit is packed with anthocyanins and other memory-supporting flavonoids.
In other words, if you’re wondering how to improve memory the answer is you can’t go wrong by choosing either of these berries. So feel free to mix it up.
4. Dark chocolate:
It’s true, you really can nibble on some dark chocolate and improve your memory at the same time. Now, this doesn’t mean you can gorge yourself on brownies, of course. But an ounce of dark chocolate during the day will give your brain the antioxidants it needs to lock in the memories you most want to keep – as well as help with focus, concentration, and mood.
The same brain-friendly fats that are found in avocados are available in certain fish, too. Plus, fish contain a little extra “secret” ingredient called DHA. DHA is key to a healthy, functioning brain.
In one study on seniors the folks with the lowest DHA levels had significantly smaller brains and suffered from more strokes than those with higher DHA levels. And the differences didn’t end there. The seniors with higher DHA levels also did better of memory tests.
In two different major studies eating fish at least once a week was associated with a 60 percent drop in the cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
Think salmon, herring and mackerel for best results.
6. Fresh brewed tea:
It turns out your morning cup of hot tea—or your afternoon glass of iced—could be more than just a natural energizer. It could also be another great answer to the question of how to improve memory. So long as it’s freshly brewed, of course.
Between the antioxidants and the caffeine, fresh brewed tea can help boost memory, focus, and mood. Tea leaves or tea bags, either way you get the benefits. But skip the bottled variety which won’t deliver the same benefits and is often full of sugar and unwanted additives.
7. Leafy greens:
The darker your leafy green the better it is for helping to protect your memory. In other words, aim for kale and spinach before choosing Boston Bibb or romaine.
While researchers aren’t yet 100 percent sure how dark leafy greens help your brain, they ARE sure that they do. One prominent theory is they help lower the levels of an amino acid that kills off brain cells. But no matter how they do it, leafy greens work to protect memory so load up!
Protein-rich legumes are a great way to help stabilize your blood sugar. And without all those nasty blood sugar spikes and crashes your body is able to deliver a steady stream of fuel to your brain.
So nourish your body and your brain. Eat more beans.
9. Oil-based dressings:
At the risk of sounding like a broken record we’re going to have to repeat that if you’re wondering how to improve memory you really need to make sure you’re getting enough of the right kinds of fats.
One way to do that is by putting aside those store-bought creamy salad dressings (they’re full of chemicals, anyway) and mixing up your own with brain-friendly olive oil, vinegar and your favorite herbs and spices.
Not only is it better for you, it will taste better, too!
Looking for some inspiration? Try this delicious brain-friendly balsamic vinegar and olive oil recipe.
|Brainy Balsamic & Olive Oil Dressing|
|Serve over any kind of salad you like. But for an extra memory protecting boost try spinach and sprinkle in some sunflower seeds.
This dressing also makes a great marinade for meats.
1. Mix all ingredients in small jar or blender.
2. Shake or blend.
3. Toss with any salad of your choice.
10. Peanut butter:
Peanut butter isn’t just full of brain-friendly fats it’s also rich in vitamin E. Higher levels of this memory-linked vitamin are linked to less cognitive decline as we age.
Choose all-natural peanut butters to avoid unwanted additives and unnecessary sugar. Because all you need for delicious peanut butter is peanuts and a light sprinkle of salt.
Don’t like peanut butter? Try all-natural almond or hazelnut spreads instead.
If we had to describe how to improve memory in one word, it would probably be antioxidants. Because the brain is one of the most susceptible parts of your entire body to oxidative stress and damage.
That makes pomegranates—which are one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants you’ll find—a great choice for protecting your precious memories. When they’re in season there’s nothing like a fresh pomegranate to satisfy a snack attack. (If you’ve never eaten a fresh pomegranate believe it or not they can be a bit challenging to eat. Check out the quick video tutorial below to peel one like a pro.)
If you’re going to go for pomegranate juice instead make sure to choose pure pomegranate juice with no added sugar or coloring. (One we like is Lakewood Cold Pressed.)
12. Red wine:
Like dark chocolate, it’s nice to find splurges on a list like this sometimes!
Studies have linked drinking red wine with a lower risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia. In one study moderate drinkers were found to be 23 percent less likely to experience serious memory problems than their non-drinking peers.
So if you are already a wine drinker rest assured that your habit can have some health benefits, if you keep it moderate. Generally speaking, two glasses of wine a night for men and a single glass of wine for women is recognized as healthy, so enjoy!
13. Sunflower seeds:
It only takes an ounce of sunflower seeds to get 30 percent of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin E – one of the vitamins most closely linked to staying mentally sharp.
Sprinkle them on salads, toss them into cottage cheese, fold them into your favorite burger or meatloaf recipe, bake them into breads or simply snack on them by the handful.
And if you don’t care for sunflower seeds, swap them out. Just about any seed will give you the same benefits.
While most nuts are helpful when it comes improving memory, research shows the walnuts are a true brain food. A number of studies have found that walnuts support brain health and they may even help slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s.
In one study it was found that the more walnuts a person ate… regardless of age, gender or ethnicity… the better he or she did on cognitive tests.
Walnuts bring three brain-supporting nutrients to the table… antioxidants, vitamin E and omega 3s.
To fight memory loss you’ll need less than a handful of nuts a day… about 13 grams.
15. Whole grains:
You probably know that whole grains are good for your heart. That’s what makes them good for your brain, too. Because, it turns out, taking care of your heart is another answer to your question of how to improve your memory.
It works like this: your heart is responsible for getting oxygen and nutrient rich blood to your brain. If any part of your cardiovascular system isn’t working up to speed, your brain suffers too. Whole grains help keep your heart healthy, so it in turn can keep your brain healthy.
Your memories really do make you who you are. So be sure to hold onto them with these 15 brain-boosting foods.
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