Everyone wants a sharper memory, and as you get older it's especially important to pay attention to the foods you eat in order to preserve your precious mental abilities. Fortunately, nature has provided some great tools to keep your mind intact and your body fit.
Here are seven of my favorite memory-boosting foods, so eat up and enjoy a memory rivaled by no one!
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Walnuts are thought of as brain food, not only because they’re shaped like a brain, but because they’re an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat that the body uses to make DHA, needed to improve memory. Walnuts also contain an antioxidant called ellagic acid, which helps protect the brain from free radical damage. Flax and chia seeds are also good sources. Add the ground seeds to breakfast cereals or smoothies for an extra omega-3 boost.
Coconut oil is the perfect brain fuel as it is abundant in medium-chain fatty acids, which is a fabulous energy source for the brain. Buy a good-quality, cold-pressed organic coconut oil, and take around 20 milliliters daily. You can add it to smoothies or mix it in yogurt. Coconut oil is also a healthy oil to use for cooking, as it won’t turn to a harmful trans fat at high temperatures.
Eggs are one of the best sources choline, which is an important nutrient used to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory. Choline is found in the myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers throughout the brain, which facilitates rapid transmission of electrical impulses.
The Chinese have long believed that drinking green tea is good for your memory. Now researchers have discovered why. Green tea naturally contains high levels of the chemical EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate), which is a potent antioxidant. EGCG is beneficial for combating age-related degenerative illnesses, including improving cognitive function and memory, according to the research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Enjoying around three cups of organic green tea daily is an excellent way to give your memory a boost.
Traditionally rosemary has been used to improve memory. The essential oil is often used in aromatherapy to boost mental performance and memory. Herbalists also use it as an herbal extract for memory enhancing purposes. Rosemary may also help improve memory by relieving anxiety and lowering cortisol levels. Try adding rosemary essential oil to massage oils, creams, or oil burners, or cook with the fresh herb.
Salmon, sardines and other oily fish are rich in DHA (docosahexaenoicacid), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that's an essential for optimum brain performance and memory. These healthy brain fats keep the lining of brain cells flexible so memory messages can pass easily between cells. Eating fish three times a week and taking a good-quality fish oil supplement will help enhance your memory.
Eat more berries! According to a paper published in the recent Annals of Neurology, women who have higher intakes of berries in their diets have a slower rate of age-related memory loss. Berries have high levels of magic ingredients anthocyanidins and flavonoids, which are each associated with lower rates of cognitive decline. You don’t need to eat a truck-load of berries to get this effect, either. Apparently, positive effects were seen in women who only consumed ½ cup of blueberries or 1 cup of strawberries a week. And, the more berries eaten the better the effect too.