Having trouble recalling phone and pin numbers, or where you left your glasses? Eating the right foods can make all the difference. There are a number of nutritious foods that are amazing for improving memory. And they taste great too.
The best foods for boosting brain function and memory are fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers; they are the best sources of EPA and DHA. And DHA is the best thing you can do for your brain and memory. It has been proven to heal brain damage in stroke victims.
Another great brain food is blueberries – nicknamed “brainberries” by Steven Pratt, M.D., author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life. It appears that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both learning capacity and motor skills.
There’s also whole grains with a low glycemic index – like brown rice, 100% whole wheat breads, whole grain cereals, oats. These foods promote good cardiovascular health, which equals good blood flow. The brain is especially sensitive to blood flow. The better your blood flow, the better your brain function. In fact, studies have shown that people whose hearts pump blood inefficiently may lose brain volume faster, putting them at risk for dementia.
Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds each day can provide the average 25-30 year old with the recommended daily amount of zinc. Zinc is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. In the brain, it is also crucial for smell, taste, vision and blood clotting. The exact amount of zinc you may need differs, based on age and overall health.
Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. Researchers have discovered that Vitamin K plays an important role in maintaining the white matter region of the brain. A recent study has shown that having adequate vitamin K over the course of a lifetime is important for cognitive function. This being said, it’s important that you know that the pharmaceutical drug Coumadin blocks Vitamin K function in the Human body.
Nuts and sunflower seeds are also great for improving brain function, as they contain high amounts of Vitamin E, as does brown rice. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant – it protects our tissues from the destructive effects of free radicals. All the body’s tissues contain lipids (fats and other fatty compounds), but the brain is especially rich in these vital substances, which are highly susceptible to oxidative damage from free radicals. And since the brain consumes a disproportionate amount of the body’s oxygen supply, it is that much more vulnerable to oxidative damage, and much more vital that it receives the necessary amount of antioxidant protection.
Not surprisingly, recent research suggests that increased intake of vitamin E helps preserve brain function and protects against neuronal (nerve-cell) degeneration.
Of course, there are many more foods that improve brain function and boost memory, but these are among my personal favorites. I love the flavors and textures of these foods, and their brain benefits are a wonderful bonus.
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