4 Foods That Improve Memory
4 Foods That Improve Memory
One of the more unfortunate realities of life is that our memory tends to be diminished as we age. There are a variety of physiological reasons that the process of memory loss occurs, but no matter what the cause, the outcome remains the same. That’s why we’ve written a list covering four of the best foods for improving your memory, along with the main reasons why each item has been included.
When looking at foods that improve memory, seafood is a great place to start. Foods like shrimp have high levels of vitamin B12, which is vital for healthy brain cells and nerves. Studies have shown that B12 can help prevent memory decline. Fish and shellfish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improving memory function and combating the effects of aging on the mind. Fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon also contain DHA, which is very important for the normal functioning of neurons in the brain.
Despite a recent push for people to eat just the egg whites, it turns out it’s the yolk that actually puts eggs on our list of foods that improve memory. Egg yolks are rich in choline, which is a nutrient in the vitamin B family. Choline can help rid the blood of detrimental amino acids, linked to causing cancer and dementia. It also aids in the construction of acetycholine, which functions as our memory neurotransmeter. While egg yolks do also contain cholesterol, when eaten in moderation whole eggs are a very healthy choice for your body and mind.
Leafy Green Vegetables
It’s not surprising the vegetables make the list of foods that improve memory. We’ve always known that veggies are healthy, but we are actually still learning exactly why that is. Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli and collard greens are not only good sources of vitamin E, but they also contain vitamin B9, also called folate or folic acid. B9 is vital for proper brain function, and plays a crucial role in emotional and mental health. It aids in the production of the genetic material, DNA and RNA, and is especially needed when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. Experts believe B9 improves mental function by lowering levels of amino acids known to trigger nerve cell death in the brain.
Foods High in Vitamin E
Foods naturally high in vitamin E and “healthy” fats have remarkable benefits for your brain, making them our final feature for foods that improve memory. This category includes nuts and nut butters, seeds, avocado, and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, and grape seed oil. Research has shown that vitamin E helps keep both the heart and brain healthy and functional. It is a potent antioxidant, and helps to protect the brain’s neurons and nerve cells. According to a study at Chicago’s Rush University, the memory enhancing benefits have been seen with vitamin E rich foods, but not with vitamin E supplements.
Aside from being foods that improve memory in general, these foods have also shown particular promise in lowering your risk of developing cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. In Alzheimer’s disease, neurons in certain parts of the brain start to die, which jump-starts the cascade of events leading to cognitive deterioration. A lifelong diet high in vitamin E rich foods may help protect your neurons from falling prey to the disease later in life.