[New York] [dropcap]M[/dropcap]emory foods – The brain is the control center of your body and mind. It continuously, without rest, monitors and controls complex functions, like blood flow and hormone balance. Breathing, blinking, reacting to pain- you do not have to think about it because your brain already knows what to do. Sensation, thought, and movement are what allows you to lead a healthy life in the face of dangers, and this is all thanks to the brain.
The brain never stops working, even when you are sleeping. In fact, it is during sleep that the brain does a lot of its work. The brain consumes about 20% of your daily caloric intake, despite only being 2% of your total weight. Half of that energy is used for signalling within the brain and out into the body. All of this requires fuel.
What you eat affects you physically, but it also affects mood, energy, memory, focus, and concentration. Put bad fuel in even the best performance car, and it will never reach its peak. The same goes for your body, and your brain. The brain’s fuel is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates.
This sugar can come from healthy foods like fruits and grains, or from processed junk foods with simple sugars. Poor choices can lead to insulin and blood sugar fluctuation, which can damage the body and the brain. Memory and concentration become much less functional as blood sugar drops below the normal, and high blood sugar can damage just about all of the body in some way or another.
The brain also relies on a healthy balance of fats, as it is made up of 60% fat itself. Without this, depression and dementia, amongst other things, can develop. Healthy fats and fatty acids are key to brain function. Leading a healthy life through a healthy diet means you can enjoy and consume things that are not the best, but everything should be in moderation. Even things that are thought to be bad, like saturated fats, can be found in foods that are beneficial to the brain, like coconut oil.
If you are asking yourself how to increase memory power naturally, that is a very good place to start. There are countless foods that improve memory, most of which you can find easily and incorporate into your diet without hassle. By eating better for your brain, you will see benefits in many areas.
Even the most healthy diets have room for improvement, and improving yours can be as simple as introducing a new ingredient or increasing existing consumption. Although it may sound easy, this can be daunting and frustrating for many.
Results will not be immediate, but you should not give up hope. If you want to start eating healthier and for the benefit of your brain, you could look through your local supermarket’s aisles for hours and hours, leaving you with no clue on where to start. Or you could start here, with a list of 21 brain foods that will benefit your brain and body.
Foods to Improve Your Memory -Fish
Fish contain high levels of fatty acids, which are great for memory and concentration. Studies have shown that consuming fish just once a week can provide benefits to memory, regardless of age. Consumption of fish can help to improve the brain structurally as well.
Certain fishes, like salmon, are thought to be particularly beneficial to the brain. It is important to be aware of where your fish comes from, and any dangers that may be involved. Parasites and heavy metal content are concerns with all fish, but particularly in tuna and fishes consumed raw. In moderation, any fish is fine, but be sure you know what you are eating and where it came from.
Foods to Improve Your Memory – Avocado
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats and fatty acids. These help to increase blood flow to the brain. They also lower cholesterol and aid in the absorption of antioxidants, and avocados come with antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E. Vitamin E can help to protect the body and the brain from free radical damage.
Avocados are also a good source of potassium and vitamin K, and consuming both will lower the risk of stroke. Although the fat content of avocado is high, most of that fat is of the good kind. Avocados can be baked into brownies, used as an alternative to mayonnaise, or incorporated into your diet in countless other ways.
Memory Foods – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains triglycerides that the body uses for energy. This leaves glucose for the brain. Coconut oil has been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Anything that improves blood flow and function of the heart will also improve the wellbeing of the brain.
Coconut oil acts as an anti-inflammatory, and may reduce the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are countless memory supplements on the market, and many are not backed by research or medical clearance. Coconut oil can be taken as a supplement in capsules if you do not wish to consume it directly as part of your diet.
Memory Foods – Beans and Legumes
These are great sources of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are also mixed with fiber that slows absorption. This gives you a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with other sources.
Beans and legumes are also rich in folate, a B vitamin essential to brain function, as well as fatty acids. There are countless types of beans and legumes, all with different properties and tastes. These can be prepared and consumed in so many ways as well, and many are likely already a part of your diet as it stands.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the brain from oxidative damage and stress that lead to premature aging, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. Blueberries contain flavonoids which can improve the communication between neurons- improving memory, learning, and all cognitive function.
This includes reasoning, decision making, verbal comprehension, and computation. Dark berries like blackberries and goji berries are also good for the brain, and most berries can be found dried as well. Dried berries are easy to add to snack mixes or baked goods, and they store longer than fresh berries do.
Broccoli is a superfood that benefits the whole body. It is rich in vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, B vitamins, fiber, iron, and vitamin K. These nutrients protect against free radicals, improve and maintain healthy blood flow, and can also remove metals that are damaging.
Broccoli can be consumed raw, cooked, or as part of a juice blend. Like other brain foods, broccoli has both fans and haters. Boiled broccoli is likely the source of hatred for many, but broccoli can be prepared in so many more ways than that. Boiling can also reduce the nutrient level in broccoli. Frozen broccoli is a good way to be sure that nutrients are high and that the broccoli itself is fresh.
There’s no excuse to not eat for your brain’s good when it can include chocolate. The flavonols in chocolate can improve blood vessel function. This can improve cognitive function and memory. Chocolate also improves mood and contains antioxidants.
You can use this tasty option as a reward system for improving performance in memory improvement games, or when studying or working. This will give you a boost in two ways, through the nutrients in dark chocolate and through the action of games or studying.
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain fiber, both soluble and insoluble. These little seeds can help regulate blood glucose levels, act as an anti-inflammatory, and aid in hydration. They also contain many antioxidants. Chia seeds are easy to add to your diet, whether you add them to smoothies, make puddings, or top salads and oatmeals.
Chia seeds can also be used as an alternative to eggs in most baking recipes, but eggs do have benefits that should be considered as well. The unique thickening property of these little seeds make them adaptable and beneficial.
Nuts, particularly almonds and walnuts, are great for the brain and nervous system. They provide abundant fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Vitamin E may prevent different forms of dementia by protecting the brain from free radicals. It also helps to boost brain power, which makes nuts a convenient and effective snack for improving memory for studying.
Nuts also contain anti-nutrients, but this is not a problem when nuts are consumed in small amounts. Soaking nuts overnights can make them healthier. Nuts can also be consumed as nut milks, and this can be added to dishes or recipes as an alternative to dairy milks.
Whilst dairy milks do have brain benefits of their own, the many different nut milks available are great for both lactose-free and lactose tolerant people.
Just like beans, whole grains, and legumes, quinoa is a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. These help balance blood sugar whilst also providing glucose to the brain. The high amount of iron in quinoa can help keep the blood oxygenated, with B vitamins helping to protect blood vessels. B vitamins can also improve mood.
Quinoa is great for those who are gluten sensitive. It contains saponins and should also be soaked overnight before being cooked or prepared. Quinoa can be used as an alternative to rice in dishes where rice is called for, and it can also be incorporated into baked goods or cereals.
This herb has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function through aromatherapy. When consumed, it can improve blood flow to the brain, improve mood, and act as an antioxidant. It is a powerful detoxifier that boosts energy and also combats skin aging.
As a herb, rosemary is easy to incorporate into foods you already eat. Having the herb around and being able to smell it will also provide benefits. This herb is also easy to grow, which gives you control of its quality and origin.
Spinach can help offset the development of dementia. Nutrients in spinach can also help to prevent cancer and tumor growth, as well as damage to cell DNA. Spinach can also slow the effects of aging on the brain. Folate and vitamin E are found in abundance within spinach.
This leafy vegetable can be prepared in many ways, both raw and cooked, so it is a smart choice to add to your diet for countless reasons. Spinach can be used as the base of a salad, as an ingredient in a juice, or cooked and creamed. People often have a cement opinion on spinach, but that is likely because the way they had it was the way that made them hate it.
It is just as likely that there is some form of preparation out there that will change their mind.
Sunflower seeds, along with others like pumpkin, contain protein, fatty acids, and B vitamins. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the brain, and sunflower seeds contain high levels of tryptophan.
This can help to improve mood. Microgreens and sprouts of seeds are even better. Seeds can be eaten on their own, or as a mix-in or topping for things such as baked goods or salads.
The sprouts and microgreens of seeds can also be added to salads, and these also work well in sandwiches. Seeds can be sourced from your own garden, as can many of the brain foods on this list.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an extremely powerful antioxidant. It can help combat dementia and memory loss, as well as general cell damage. Lycopene may also help to stabilize mood, and this can help you to deal with stress better.
It is hard to find ways on how to improve memory and concentration, much less to practice them, when you are stressed or worried. Tomatoes are extremely versatile. Some people hate tomatoes raw, some hate them cooked, and some love them any way. Tomatoes can be included in sauces, salads, or in other dishes.
This culinary vegetable is also easy to grow, and growing them yourself will allow you to make sure the tomatoes are free of pesticides or contaminants.
Whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates, which help to control blood sugar. Fiber and some fatty acids are also found in whole grains. All of these nutrients can help to shield the brain and heart from damage that may arise from cholesterol, blood clots, or sugar spikes. B vitamins are also found in grains, and it can improve blood flow to the brain. More blood flow means that nutrients are more available when needed.
B vitamins may also improve mood. Whole grains can be soaked, sprouted, fermented, or grown into microgreens for the most benefits, and there are numerous types of whole grains to choose from. Opt for whole grain options even when purchasing prepared foods, like breads or pastas.
Whole grains are less processed and much healthier overall. Avoid “whole wheat” products, as they are not whole grain and often include added sugars or flavors.
Beets can help to reduce inflammation and contain antioxidants. The nitrates found in beets can help increase flood flow and availability in the brain, which increases function. Energy and general performance can also increase as a result of consuming this root vegetable, which can give you motivation and more immediate results. Beets can be consumed raw or cooked, or as part of a juice.
Beet juice can stain, but its bright ruby color can also add a special touch to dishes that are asking for a bit more visual impact. Beets have a fairly neutral earthy flavor, so adding them to roasted mixed vegetables or salads are great ways to introduce this root vegetable into your brain diet.
This timeless food has become quite a fad as of recent, but that is not without good reason. Bone broth has countless benefits, such as reducing inflammation or increasing immune performance. The amino acids contained in bone broth can improve memory and cognitive ability.
Bone broth is simple to prepare at home and can be consumed on its own or as part of a recipe, and it can be flavored or adapted to your individual tastes. Bone broth is also the base of many soups and sauces, so the options are endless when it comes to the preparation and consumption of this ancient brain food.
Celery is extremely low in calories, but it also is high in benefits. Antioxidants and polysaccharides, which are found in celery in high amounts, can prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation. Preventing damage to cells directly, or by preventing damage through inflammation, will help protect your brain and all the hard work you are doing to improve your memory.
Celery can be consumed on its own, or as part of a recipe. Juices, salads, and soups are common places to find this nutrient-dense vegetable. Celery has a very neutral taste, so adding it to anything can leave it undetected yet effective. Make sure to prepare celery properly, removing the stringy formations that can make eating it unpleasant.
It was thought for a long time that egg yolks were unhealthy and should be avoided. The reality is that they are packed with beneficial nutrients. Choline helps to promote brain growth in babies of pregnant woman. Choline breaks down into bethane, which produces hormones linked with happiness. A better mood will make for more effective work and improvement.
Eggs are cheap and always available, and they are already part of many recipes and foods. If you have been avoiding the yolk and opting for egg whites alone, switch to including the yolk for great benefit.
The negative aspects of egg yolks that people have avoided for a long time, like cholesterol, are actually not that bad and do not offset the benefits in any way, shape, or form. Care should be taken if you have an allergy or sensitivity to sulfur.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil improve memory and learning ability, and may reverse age or disease related damage or changes. This oil also combats toxic proteins that can induce Alzheimer’s. Extra virgin olive oil should be consumed at room temperature, as heating it can cause to to decompose and hydrogenate.
Low temperature cooking is fine, and extra virgin olive oil can be a healthier substitute to other oils. Adding extra virgin olive oil to dishes after they have been cooked, or as part of things like salad dressings, allows the oil to be an easy addition that does not require extra work or a change in taste.
This spice contains curcumin, which is considered to be one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents. The spice can boost antioxidant levels and increase immune system function.
It can also improve oxygen levels in the body, which keeps you alert and able to process information or store memories. Turmeric can be added to dishes or consumed as part of recipes that are based around it, like teas.
Its extremely bright yellow color makes the spice easy to identify, and it can add a unique touch to dishes. Turmeric can stain surfaces or skin easily, so care should be taken when using it.