7 Foods That Can Boost Your Memory And Brain Function
From time to time we can all do with some extra help concentrating or focusing on certain tasks…whether its at work or play, from time to time, that ‘brain fog’ can descend leaving us struggling mentally to cope, concentrate or focus…
As we get that little bit older it can get even worse.. age related memory decline affects us all to varying degrees… we can often find that concentrating is harder, recalling facts or memories more difficult..
But What Can We Do
If we want to boost our brain power, there are some choices that we can make that can naturally improve things at cerebral level… and it all starts with our diet..
In these days, processed foods are relatively cheap, easy to prepare, and convenient, however one of the best things that we can do to improve our brain function is to eat more unprocessed whole foods. These food stuffs are full of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants along with other phyochemicals that will nourish and replenish your brain cells.
Tests have shown that people who eat plenty of fruit and vegetables ( at least 400g per day) perform better at cognitive tasks and as a comparison, those who eat a lot of sugar are more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment..
When choosing foods to boost your brain it’s not just about the amount of fat or calories they contain, its also important to choose those that contain certain nutrients that are known to support optimal brain health…
Here Are 7 Foodstuffs That You Should Be Eating
Salmon is exceptionally high in Omega-3 fats. These are really good at fighting inflammation throughout the entire body including the brain.. it offers fantastic protection for your brain cells…. Similar benefits can be gained by taking fish supplements such as krill oil but without a doubt, the best results come from natural foods like salmon.
One study discovered that older women with higher levels of Omega-3 fats had better brain preservation than those with lower amounts.. experts believe that increased levels can help maintain better brain function for several years longer…
Studies in younger boys also recorded effective results, when given doses of Omega-3 there was a noticeable increase in the activity from the dorsolsteral frontal cortex part of the brain.. this area is largely responsible for the working memory.. other areas also showed improvements including the cerebellar cortex ( which is responsible for motor skill controls) and the occipital cortex ( which controls visual processing).
This popular yellow spice is packed with the antioxidant curcumin… this is one of only a few compounds that can cross the brain/blood barrier to act as an effective neuroprotector.
Research into the effects of Tumeric has shown that it can help to reduce the accumulation of destructive cells ( beta amyloids) – one example of the effects of these can be seen in alzheimers paients..
Curcumin has also been found to boost memory and also stimulate a process known as neurogenesis ( the production of new brain cells)
Animal studies go further in suggesting that another compound found in Turmeric – aromatic turmerone can actually stimulate neural stem cell growth – something crucial for the brains self repair process.
These findings actually suggest that Turmeric could possible offer some help in the recovery of brain function in patients suffering with neuro degenerative diseases such as alzheimers and after a stroke.
It is recommended to use actual turmeric powder as the levels of curcumin found in some curry powders is too low for it to have much effect.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Two popular vegetables, both are excellent sources of choline – a B Vitamin recognised for its ability to boost brain development….
It helps to boost cognitive function, improve learning and recall and can ( it is believed) help slow age related memory decline.. Choline is also found in eggs and some meats.
Broccoli has other benefits too – it is packed with anti-inflammatory agents that work together to help detoxify your body and your brain.
Celery is very high in Luteolin, a plant extract that has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain.. this is essential to reducing age related memory decline, animal studies have shown a definite improvement in memory and learning tasks when the test subjects have been given a supplement containing Luteolin.. Other sources of Luteolin include Peppers, and Carrots.
Walnuts are another excellent food high in antioxidants, they also contain good levels of both Omega-3 fats as well as natural phytosterols… these combined have been shown in studies to reduce brain ageing and help boost the natural healing processes.. Walnuts also contain other essential neuroprotective compounds to, these include Vitamin E, Folate, and Melatonin.
Studies have also shown that walnuts can decrease the vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs as we age, they can also increase health span and enhance both motor and cognitive function as we age.
A widely recognised ‘superfood’ …Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and other phytochemical that are linked to the improvement in thinking, learning and memory… they are also excellent at reversing the effects of free radicals (naturally occurring toxins) that build in our cells… Thought to be one of the most healthy fruits of all, wild blueberries in particular have high levels of anthocyanin and antioxidants which are all known to protect against neurological disease.
Grown in popularity in recent years, the health benefits of coconut oil are far reaching… Your brain needs fuel for it to function at its best.. the primary fuel it uses is glucose, but it can actually run on more than one type of fuel… other fuel types include Ketone Bodies (aka ketoacids) these are naturally produced by the body when it converts fat into energy ( as opposed to glucose).
Coconut oil contains great amounts of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which in turn is a fantastic source of Ketone Bodies…. Coconut oil contains about 66% of MCT, when taken these go straight to your liver which then converts the MCT into ketones.. these are released immediately into the bloodstream where they travel to the brain to be used as fuel…. Now while your brain is quite happy functioning on glucose, the fuel provide by these ketones has actually been shown to help restore and renew the Neurons in the brain, helping to boost brain function and reduce cognitive decline.
There is no need to let your brain decline or ‘shrink’ with age.. by following the right guidelines, and eating the right foods, you can boost your brains ability and help to reduce the risk of brain related diseases and impairment.
Our simple guideline is as follows:
- Exercise regularly – regular activity cause biochemical changes that strengthen and renew both the body and the brain
- Reduce Calorie Consumption
- Reduce the amount of carbohydrates and sugars that you eat on a daily basis
- Increase the amounts of healthy whole foods – eat beneficial fats that ensure optimal brain ( and bodily) functions…. include the foods above and also add things like olives, olive oil, pecan and macadamia nuts, free range eggs..
- Boost your levels of Omega-3 fats and reduce the amount of Omega-6 fats ( as found in vegetable oils and spreads… turn to oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herrings alternatively take a good quality fish oil ( like Krill oil)
- Take a good natural nootropic supplement – one that is scientifically formulated and backed up by clinical trials to prove its effectiveness..