We all know about the various effects food has on one’s body, in terms of weight and heart health, but did you know that food can also have a direct impact on brain health? That’s right, Harvard Medical School discovered that the same saturated and trans fats that raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol—the stuff that’s bad for your heart—are also linked to the “formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.”
Studies show that diets comprised of foods high in cholesterol and fat seem to have a direct connection with poorer memory, and that those who follow more of a Mediterranean diet, one that’s low in saturated fats, perform better on memory and thinking tests.
Given the link between diet and memory, we’ve made a list of some of the foods that actually boost your memory and that will help your brain out in the long run…
Memory Boosting Foods
- Wild Salmon (or other fatty fish): full of omega-3 fatty, memory-boosting acids, it comes as no surprise that this fish is really good for you. (If seafood isn’t your thing, check out fish oil supplements!)
- Broccoli: broccoli, along with other leafy greens (we’re looking at you, kale), is an excellent source of vitamin K and lignans, as noted by World Health, and is linked to improved brainpower and less memory decline as one gets older.
- Red Wine: red grapes are replete with antioxidant resveratrol, which Vital Record reported as benefiting learning, memory and mood function.
- Healthy Oils: full of vitamin E and antioxidants, healthy oils (such as olive oil, peanut oil, avocado, etc.) protect neurons and boost cognitive development.
- Whole Grains: whole grains, or grains with a low glycemic index, provide the brain with energy. Seeing as your body needs energy to get through the day, your brain needs the same, and, as BBC explains, whole grains are the healthy way to fuel it.
- Fresh Berries: blueberries, acai berries, blackberries, etc. are a known source of antioxidants, specifically flavonoids. Given they’re full of an antioxidant that reportedly increased blood flow to the brain, you can bet we’re getting our fill of fresh fruit.
- Nuts and Seeds: WebMD explains that nuts are great source of vitamin E and zinc that will help slow down and prevent cognitive decline, along with boosting thinking skills.
Memory-Boosting Meal Plan
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Note: omit the bacon and potatoes for a truly heart and brain-healthy dish