Foods that Fight Memory Loss
Forgetfulness and memory loss are normal signs of aging. While there is little we can do to prevent memory loss, diet can play a huge role in maintaining a healthy memory. Just like there are diets to promote a healthy heart, there is a group of foods believed to improve brain function and memory. Although no single food has been proven to prevent memory loss, there are some important diet-related tips that can help maintain healthy memory even as a person ages.Berries and other dark-skinned fruits like plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries are all packed with antioxidants that may help slow age-related cognitive decline.
- Leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, spinach and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate. Dark, leafy greens are believed to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood. This is significant as high levels can kill nerve cells in the brain.
- Fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are full of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. These nutrients are extremely important for the normal functioning of neurons in the brain that promote a healthy memory.
- Foods like sunflower seeds, avocado and peanut butter are all high in vitamin E. This nutrient is believed to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Fiber-packed whole grains represent an entire food group that lowers the risk of cognitive impairment that may lead to dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa are just a few of many foods full of fiber and whole grains.
- Oils like extra virgin olive and cold-pressed coconut contain good cholesterol, triglycerides and antioxidants that may aide in improving brain health.
- Stimulants like coffee and chocolate have a significant impact on cognitive ability. Research indicates that the caffeine and antioxidants in these two foods may help protect against age-related memory impairment. However, for an easy, restful night’s sleep, it’s recommended to avoid these foods after mid-day.
In addition to diet, there are many lifestyle factors that affect memory. Exercise, sleep, and social interaction are some other ways to fight memory loss. These habits and activities have a great impact on how a person consolidates memories. Pairing dietary changes with lifestyle modifications can help improve memory and fight off age-related cognitive decline.