Feeling forgetful? This could be due to lack of sleep, low levels of physical activity, or genetics. The types of food you eat play an important role in cognition, as well. In order to enhance overall brain function there must be good blood flow to the brain, which can be encouraged by a person’s diet. The following foods listed below have proven to do just that!
- · Vegetables and lots of them! Vegetables a part of the cruciferous family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and dark leafy greens are great foods sources that will boost your memory. These are a great source of folate, which is a water soluble vitamin that is known to help cognitive function. Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables also help to keep cognition, memory and overall brain function sharp as we age.
- · Berries are another type of food that will boost your memory. Dark colored berries, such as black berries, cherries and blue berries are rich in flavonoids which have been shown to reduce inflammation, not only in the brain, but all over the body. This reduced inflammation plays a role in increasing cognitive function.
- My oh my, do Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in memory! Omega-3 fatty acids also known as docohexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the most abundant fatty acids in the brain. By keeping a sufficient amount of it your blood stream, the brain is able to extract this and use it in order to operate properly. Fatty fish, such as salmon, Bluefin tuna, and sardines are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other types of seafood like scallops, shrimp, and algae are good sources of this important fatty acid, as well. In effort to consume a sufficient amount of omega-3 try substituting fish for meat 2 to 3 times a week. If you are not a seafood person there are fish oil, seaweed or microalgae supplements you can take, as well. Before taking a supplement be sure to discuss the options with your primary care doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
- Get wacky for walnuts! Walnuts are not only good for heart health, but they support good brain function, as well. Walnuts like fatty fish contain high levels of DHA.