Health Crush Contributor
Most of us know that what we eat and drink can help our bodies stay fit and healthy, but what may surprise you is that there are also certain foods that are considered brain foods. Foods that can improve memory, and may even prevent certain types of dementia, like Alzheimer’s.
What we put on our plate is responsible for not only providing the body with key nutrients, but it also produces important hormones that enter or are produced in the brain, which has a big impact on our memory and cognitive function.
Top Brain Food Contenders
Turns out that glass of merlot is not only a good way to unwind with dinner, but it’s also a pretty powerful brain food. Georgetown University researchers found that a compound, called resveratrol, found in red wine appears to repair blood-brain barriers which can slow down the advancement of cognitive problems in Alzheimer’s patients.
These tasty little fruits not only may help brighten skin and fight wrinkles , but they also rank high on the foods that improve memory list. The consumption of blueberries to linked to improved memory recall and retention, thanks to phytochemicals called anthocyanins.
Extra-virgin olive not only helps you retain new information but it can also lessen your chance of developing dementia, says research. In a study by Temple University, diets rich in olive oil may protect memory, enhance learning ability and reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease due to “nerve cell autophagy,” a process that eliminates toxic proteins from the brain.
High in phytochemicals that enhance learning and spatial memory, rosemary can reduce oxidative stress and prevent neuron damage — all good things for your memory. The University of Northumbria found that when you inhale the herb’s aroma, certain compounds are absorbed into the blood and are transported to the brain, which can protect against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
As if we needed an excuse to nosh on chocolate, a new Italian study says it’s also a memory-boosting brain food. With antioxidant properties to combat cognitive decline, as well as the natural stimulant of caffeine to enhance focus, the researchers found that chocolate may also help improve memory and clarity by increasing blood flow to the brain. But sorry milk chocolate lovers, the study notes that mainly dark chocolate is best for boosting memory.
The yellow spice called turmeric, has been getting a lot of attention lately due to the number of health benefits it’s thought to have. Thanks to an antioxidant compound called curcumin, the spice helps prevent protein buildup that can block neural pathways in the brain, which may aid in preventing cognitive decline and could even stimulate new brain cell production.
Oily fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon are all considered memory boosting foods thanks to their abundance of Omega-3s which can boost the memory in young adults over 20 percent, says a 2012study. Omega-3 fats have also been linked to a reduction in age-related cognitive decline, protection against Alzheimer’s and general improvement in cognition and mood.