Published January 18, 2013
As we age our focus and ability to recall details from the past (or even something that just occurred) can seem like a challenge. But did you know eating certain foods can actually help you improve your memory?
This scrumptious little berry delivers a powerful burst of flavor; even better is that it contains polyphenols, antioxidants that may help reverse age-related memory loss. Polyphenols reduce inflammation in ways that can get your brain working more like it did when you were younger. Blackberries are a delicious addition to yogurt, smoothies or as a snack, and they contain vitamins and minerals to keep you alert along with fiber that keeps your belly feeling full.
Eating three servings a day of Popeye’s favorite food will help keep you sharp as a tack and thin as a rail. Dark leafy greens like spinach contain lots of memory boosting vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamins E and K that can slow down the onset of cognitive delay. So will eating cruciferous veggies-broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, not to mention bright red or yellow vegetables.
Seems like the news about chocolate just keeps getting better- and so can your memory by regularly eating this not-so-sinful sweet! Chocolate contains potent antioxidants that help improve blood flow to the brain, which in turn helps keep your brain working more optimally. Plus, chocolate contains caffeine, which will help give your brain an alertness boost. Keep in mind that it only takes about a third of an ounce of chocolate to get its memory supporting affects, so easy does it on portions.
An apple a day keeps the cob webs away! The antioxidant quercetin protects the brain from inflammation, which over time can lead to cognitive decline. To get the most nutritional value from an apple don’t discard the peel as this is where the most of the quercetin is found. Try having an apple as part of your afternoon snack to stay more focused and alert. Another perk: the fiber in apples will keep you feeling energized and full.
Like your eggs sunny side up? If you do, you are in luck because the yolk contains choline - a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter has been shown to help with memory and it may even help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Choline has been associated with improved mental alertness, memory and even higher test scores on exams.
For more tips on healthy eating, drinking and weight loss, check out my new book The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and author of the Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the bestselling F-Factor Diet. In partnership with the Hain Celestial Group, Tanya has a national line of high-fiber foods marketed under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.