If you are concerned about memory loss (whether it’s future of present), you’re probably looking for little things you can do to give your brain the extra edge it needs. It’s always best to follow a varied diet of whole foods – you’ll have more energy and feel better in general, no matter the state of your memory.
But wait, you might think: why can’t I just take supplements? Well, you can take supplements, but they’re no replacement for all the additional goodies you get from eating healthy whole foods. You might receive a lot of vitamin C from that pill, but you won’t get the fiber, enzymes, and satisfaction like you will if you snack on a bowl of strawberries or a whole orange.
Here are four healthy foods to help you improve your memory and cognition.
If you’d like to enjoy a new twist on a favorite dish, here is a good way to experiment with different flavors. For instance, sesame seeds are a source of tyrosine, an amino acid that produces dopamine in your brain. It’s a neurotransmitter that helps keep your brain alert. Sesame seeds also contain zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6, all nutrients essential for memory function. Other herbs that help with memory function include rosemary and peppermint. Rosemary increases blood flow to the brain, and the smell of peppermint helps with recall.
For a long time, fat was considered out of place in any diet, but fatty fish such a salmon, trout, and herring improve memory when eaten once or twice a week. Fish oil supplements are available in any grocery store, but this way, you don’t get the nasty fish burps, and you’ll feel full after eating a meal.
Shellfish and crustaceans are a great way to add some vitamin B12 to your diet – this is a nutrient that aids in preventing memory loss. Eat your fatty fish and shellfish in moderation, though, because they can mess with your cholesterol.
3. Whole Grains and Legumes
This is a way to provide a steady stream of glucose derived from carbohydrates, which your brain needs to run smoothly. Your brain loves complex carbs because they are slow and steady supply of glucose. You might have experienced the quick spike and drop when you gorge yourself on garlic bread and processed pasta – your brain doesn’t find that useful, and you might have noticed the brain fog that sets in after that.
4. Dark, Leafy Greens
The major player in this category are kale, spinach, and salad greens, and humans have been eating them since time immemorial. They tend to be full of antioxidants, decrease inflammation, and improve circulation to the brain, on top of being rich sources of vitamins. Leafy greens can also help protect your cells against the early stages of cancer, another affliction older folks are often concerned about. Add leafy green to any meal as a side dish, as a bed for other dishes, or to wraps and sandwiches – your brain and your immune system will thank you.
At Yuma Senior Living, we know how important nourishing food is for a healthy mind and body. That’s why we serve three delicious, nutritional meals each day in our restaurant-style dining room. If you are interested in learning more about our community, we encourage you to schedule an in-person visit with us. Simply give us a call at (928) 388-6858, and our Community Ambassador will schedule an onsite tour at your convenience.