Do you ever feel like you are living in a fog? Are you getting concerned that you cannot remember the simple things, like where you placed your keys an hour ago? Believe me, you are not alone! The solution may be located in the produce aisle. There are so many foods that can help you feel less foggy and improve your long-term memory. Here are the top 8 foods that help strengthen the brain!
1. Oily fish – Provide Omega 3’s, EPA and DHA, which cannot be produced by the body, and therefore need to be consumed or supplemented for a strong, healthy brain. The oilier the fish the better. Think Salmon, Trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and Kippers. If you aren’t a fan of eating fish then make sure to supplement with an omega-3 oil.
2. Whole Grains– Concentration and focus comes from an adequate, steady supply of energy- in the form of glucose. Low Glycemic Index grains release glucose slowly into the bloodstream keeping you mentally alert all day. Think brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, multi-grain bread, etc.
3. Blueberries– Blueberries have been found in several studies by Tuft University to improve or delay short-term memory loss. So eat up those berries!
4. Tomatoes– Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes that has been proven to help protect against free radicals which damage the cells that occur in the development of dementia.
5. Broccoli– Very high in Vitamin K, this Vitamin is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. Other food’s high in Vitamin K are kale, spinach and parsley.
6. Nuts– Rich in Vitamin E! Vitamin E has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline. Other good sources are green leafy vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.
7. Pumpkin Seeds– These are high in Zinc which is vital for enhancing memory and cognitive skills. Think a handful of pumpkin seeds, cooked oysters, spinach or cashews.
8. Red Meat– Studies show this iron-rich protein supports learning, memory, and attention. Other iron rich foods are beans, dark leafy vegetables, chicken, turkey, fish and tofu. Red meat is a great source of iron but higher in saturated fat so keep it to once per week.
If you prefer supplements, then check out some of these helpful options that have been shown to power the brain:
1. Gingko Biloba– is one that shows more promise than many other supplements and is commonly used in Europe for a type of dementia resulting from reduced blood flow.
2. Acetyl-L-carnitine– Some studies suggest that this amino acid might help Alzheimer’s patients with memory problems. It may provide a greater benefit to people with early onset and a fast rate of the disease.
3. Asian (or Panax) ginseng– An herb that’s sometimes used with ginkgo biloba, Asian ginseng may help with fatigue and quality of life,
4. Omega 3 fatty acid supplement (1Tbsp/day)
Of course, we should all try NOT to multi-task as much as we do. The brain really isn’t equipped to take on as much as we try to load into it every day. Be present when placing your keys down on the counter instead of thinking about the 10 other things you need to do.
The occasional memory game can help as well. But food is always the best medicine to keep your body and your brain in top health!