Most of us choose our food based on taste, convenience, or calorie intake; it’s unlikely that we consider the impact our food has on our brain.
Forgetfulness or memory loss is becoming more common in people of all ages, and one of the major causes is our diet. According to the World Alzheimer Report 2018, the number of dementia cases worldwide is increasing. It is estimated that 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. With the rate at which brain health is being jeopardized by lifestyle and environmental factors today, it is critical that we work to improve nutrition for our grey cells.
Certain foods, it turns out, have the ability to improve our mental health more than others, as well as improve focus and memory. To ensure a longer, more productive brain, we must carefully choose what we eat.
To begin, here is a list of nutrient-dense memory foods:
“Eggs contain several nutrients that are linked to brain health,” says Delhi-based nutritionist Kavita Devgan. Egg yolks are high in choline, a micronutrient that aids in mental clarity, memory, and logical reasoning.” Furthermore, eggs are high in vitamin D, B6, and B12, and folate, all of which are linked to brain function, development, and mood regulation.
According to a 2015 study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, walnuts may not only improve memory and concentration but also speed up the rate at which our brain processes information.
“They are not only high in antioxidants, but also in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to brain health,” says Devgan. Furthermore, the vitamin E in these nuts aids in the prevention of cognitive decline as you age. As a result, it is safe to say that walnuts are the ultimate brain food.”
This yellow-hued tuber is a staple in Indian cuisine and is known to be beneficial not only to the body but also to the skin and brain. “Turmeric contains over a dozen anti-inflammatory compounds that help spice up our brain, keep memory sharp, and keep Alzheimer’s at bay.” Curcumin, its most active compound, promotes brain proliferation and aids in self-healing,” says Devgan.
Sweet and woody cinnamon is another spice that boosts brain activity. Cinnamon is high in antioxidants and has antiviral and antiseptic properties. A study conducted at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, revealed that not only eating cinnamon but also smelling cinnamon, can significantly improve brain performance.
Another study from the University of California suggests that this spice can help to delay the onset or mitigate the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. The secret is said to be cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin, two compounds found in cinnamon essential oil. Cinnamaldehyde, the more potent of the two, improves brain processing and makes the organ sharper and more efficient.
Blueberries’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, derived from flavonoids, make them one of the best memory-boosting foods. These compounds can improve circulation while also protecting brain cells from damage, lowering the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Aside from flavonoids, these berries have higher levels of gallic acid, which acts as a brain antioxidant. Blueberries are a nutritious and filling snack. If you don’t want to eat them raw, you can make delicious snack bars, milkshakes, or desserts with them.
According to a 2010 study conducted at Wake Forest University’s Translational Science Center, beetroot juice can improve the functioning of areas associated with dementia and poor cognition in adults.
Drink a glass of beet juice before working out because the nitrates ensure that more oxygen-rich blood reaches our brain. Nitrate levels this high can also be found in cabbage and other leafy vegetables like spinach.