Improve Memory With These Foods

Do you enter a room and forget what you wanted to do? Do you have trouble remembering phone numbers or the shopping list? Don’t worry – there’s something you can do to improve memory. In this article you can find which foods will help you maintain and even improve your memory capabilities.

How many times have you entered the room and didn’t recall what for? how many times have you tried unsuccessfully to remember the name of that person or another, or the girl next door? have you ever gone out of your home and you couldn’t recall if you locked the front door? All of these symptoms, and many others, are signs of memory loss.

Around the age of 50 our memory, reaction speed and ability to learn new skills goes down by half compared to our abilities at the age of 20. But don’t worry, there are many things we can do to improve memory and restore it and one of the most important is nutrition.

Our diet significantly affects how we think, our level of intelligence and memory. Proper nutrition will affect the level of oxygen reaching the brain, the enzyme activity that increases brain activity, and encourage the development of brain cells and function.

The new buzz in research on wisdom and memory is called programming. According to it, food our mothers ate during pregnancy, and even foods consumed by our grandmothers, may affect the extent of our intelligence today.  Programming claims that poor nutrition during pregnancy of the mother and grandmother directly affects certain organs, especially the brain. Folate deficiency and low consumption of protein and calories leads to smaller head circumference  and smaller brain, affecting the ability of our learning in the future. Iron deficiency during pregnancy affects our IQ. This is true in our infancy as well as adulthood. Of course now we cannot really affect food quality of our mother during pregnancy, but still our present diet influences the quality of memory.

So what can you do to improve memory?

1. Breakfast: starts up the brain

According to a study conducted at Harvard University, people who don’t miss their breakfast and make sure to eat a nutritious breakfast, remember more, are more alert and even their reaction time on the road is better than those who skip breakfast continuously. Our brain consists of 100 billion “hungry” cells. The cells need a constant supply of energy for essential activities. Although brain cells comprise only about 2% of the total body mass, yet they consume about 20% to 30% of daily calories we eat. It is important to eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, that are digested slowly in the digestive tract, such as whole grain breads and whole-grain cereal (fiber rich) with milk and a small fruit such as an apple or a banana. You can get here ideas for healthy breakfast recipes in 5 minutes.

2. Omega-3 rich foods: necessary for proper function of the brain

In today’s world, it is important to increase the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid, that the body needs for proper functioning of cells and cannot produce it itself. This acid is abundant in North Sea fish. 50% of the brain is fat and it functions properly by consuming omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. DHA is an essential component in operating the nerve cells. It helps regulate brain signals operation and release hormones such as serotonin. Since our body do not produce fatty acids itself, the main source will be using omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and relatively lean fish such as mullet, mackerel and grouper.

It is important to emphasize that although the fish are very healthy, in this industrial era there are some important points to remember: prefer lean fish, because the chemicals are concentrated mainly in the fatty tissues of the fish. For the same reason young fish is preferred over older fish because it was in the water shorter period therefore absorbed relatively low concentration of chemicals and mercury.Limit your intake of tuna once a week because of the chemicals and quantities of mercury it contains. It is desirable that pregnant women limit their consumption of tuna to once a month. Prefer canned fish originating from the Pacific Ocean and parts of Norway or Chile.

Seafood is a great source for omega 3, such as: halibut, herring, mackerel, oysters, salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and cod. Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, such as: kale, parsley, mint, Brussels sprouts, spinach and watercress, are rich in ALA, one form of omega-3 fatty acids (although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA). Bread and pasta are some of the foods most commonly enriched with omega 3. Ground flaxseed is also a good source of omega 3.
3. Antioxidants: neutralizing the free radicals

Recommendation in the brain and memory researches is to eat foods rich in antioxidants to keeping a good memory. Brain uses about 20% of the body’s overall oxygen and therefore subject to the attack of particles called free radicals. Radicals enter the body by cigarette smoke, soot, fried food, X-ray machines and more. These are unstable molecules that attack, hit and destroy cells and DNA in general, and specifically brain cells. Even if 99% of free radicals that were neutralized by foods rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, E, beta carotene and phytochemicals found in fruits, vegetables, green tea and coenzyme Q-10, then there is 1% of radical cell that caused damage. Cumulative damage as we get older and the effect of increased cell damage affect the process of destruction of brain cells.

What can you do? Try to maintain a high level of antioxidants in the body through a diet rich in antioxidants and reducing daily stress, which will help you keep a clear mind and sharp memory. A study by a university in the Netherlands showed that students’ thinking abilities increased when they ate foods rich in beta carotene. Research conducted in other parts of the world confirmed it.

These “smart foods” will help you keep a clear mind and better memory over time:

Foods that are good sources of vitamin C: green pepper (1 large), broccoli (1/2 cup), orange slices (1 cup) fresh strawberries (1/2 cup), Swiss chard (½ cup).

Foods that are good sources of beta-carotene: carrot juice (1 cup), fresh carrots (1 large), sweet potato (1 medium), melon (1/4 melon).

Foods that are good sources of vitamin E: Wheat germ oil (1/4 cup), cooked wheat germ (1/2 cup), roasted almonds (1/4 cup).

Foods that are good sources of anthocyanins: Most fruits and vegetables that are healthy for memory are red or purple. This is because the phytochemicals (chemical compounds) which give them their color are natural pigments that are healthy to our brains. Many studies show that blueberries create miracles in the brain in general and memory in particular. Adult rats whose diet was based on blueberries, were of equal performance of young rats on memory tests. Blueberries contain anthocyanins , phytochemicals known to improve memory. In addition they also contain additional phytochemicals that contribute to proper functioning of the brain.  Cherries are another fruit which is an excellent source of anthocyanins. Eggplants are an excellent source of anthocyanins and they also contain antioxidants that maintain the lipids in the brain cell membrane.

Foods that are good sources of quercetin: Apples contain high levels of quercetin, an antioxidant that recent studies have shown that it acts as antibody to Alzheimer’s disease. Although quercetin is common in the flesh, the main quantity is the skin. Red apple skin also contains anthocyanins. Red onions contain quercetin and anthocyanins. White or yellow onions contain high levels of quercetin. Red, purple and green grapes all contain quercetin and anthocyanins. Red wine also contains a great amount of these phytochemicals, but over consumption of it could damage its health benefits , so don’t drink more than a glass of red wine a day.

Foods that are good sources of folic acid: A study on rats showed that rats who were fed spinach had no problems of memory loss. It may be thanks to the high levels of folic acid, which is known to be beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and memory problems resulting from old age. Just half a cup of cooked spinach provides two thirds of folic acid required per day. Broccoli contains quercetin, and is an excellent source of folic acid as well. Beet is an excellent source of folic acid and anthocyanins.