What we eat every day affects not only our physical health but also our cognitive functions. For our brain and the rest of our body to function properly we need to maintain varied, healthy foods and a balanced diet.
In this sense, we can incorporate certain foods that will help us improve memory and concentration, and prevent certain neurodegenerative diseases in the long term.
Foods that Help Improve Memory
Next, we are going to talk about 16 healthy foods that improve your memory and concentration.
Avocados are one of the healthy foods and they help us improve cognitive functions. Although they are high in fat, it is important to know that they are monounsaturated, a type of fat that keeps blood sugar levels at bay. In addition, they also reduce blood pressure (related to cognitive decline).
This fruit also contains folic acid, which helps the body to maintain and create new cells, and vitamin K, essential to prevent blood clots in the brain and keep bones strong. In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin B and vitamin C. An essential Healthy foods in a healthy diet.
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains cocoa, which is rich in flavonoids, substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. it counts in one of the best healthy foods. Antioxidants are especially important for the health of our brain since it is very susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to cognitive decline related to age and neurodegenerative diseases.
According to research, cocoa flavonoids may be essential for neurogenesis and blood vessel growth in various brain areas related to memory and learning. Furthermore, it has been observing in various studies that eating –dark chocolate can improve brain plasticity and that flavonoids could have a positive effect in improving spatial memory.
3. Blueberries or Berries
Blueberries and many types of berries contain flavonoids and antioxidants (anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, and quercetin) that help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.
The latest research indicates that these compounds have a positive effect on cellular communication, produce an increase in neuronal plasticity, and reduce or delay certain neurodegenerative diseases related to age and cognitive deterioration that affect memory and other cognitive functions.
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Coffee consumption is widespread and its effects on attention and concentration are well known. Caffeine blocks a substance in the brain called adenosine, which causes drowsiness in the person. Beyond increasing alertness, some studies suggest that coffee may increase the brain’s ability to process information.
Research has found that coffee increases “brain entropy,” which refers to complex and variable brain activity. When this entropy is high, the brain can process more and better the information it receives.
Coffee is also a good source of antioxidants, and its consumption has been linked to a reduces risk of cognitive decline, as well as suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The consumption of walnuts is recommending since they contain a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. It has been suggested that higher overall walnut intake is related to better brain function in later life.
In addition, walnuts are a source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals and whose effects could contribute to improving cognition and reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is probably the most versatile oil you can find. It is also use for cooking, for hair, and for beauty treatments. However, apart from these well-known benefits of coconut oil, it is also very beneficial for the brain, as it contains high levels of medium-chain triglycerides that help break down ketones (byproducts that act as fuel for brain cells).
Coconut oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help suppress inflammation in cells. Studies have shown that coconut oil is beneficial for age-related memory loss. Furthermore, it can also act as a probiotic that destroys harmful bacteria present in the intestine.
In addition to being a low-calorie source, broccoli has positive effects on our brains. This vegetable is rich in compounds called glucosinolates that, once decomposed, produce isothiocyanates, substances that can reduce oxidative stress and decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Broccoli also contains a large amount of vitamin C and flavonoids, as well as choline and vitamin K, essential for maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system and cognitive functions. Also, according to some research, broccoli may help improve episodic verbal memory.
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8. Salmon and other Bluefish
Bluefish such as salmon are an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for brain cell health, learning, and memory. People with high levels of omega-3s have been shown to increase blood flow production in the brain. Furthermore, it has also been observed that there is a connection between this fatty acid and a better capacity to process information.
Various studies have linked the lack of omega-3 fatty acids with the risk of depression and learning problems. Furthermore, it has been suggesting that these compounds could delay age-related cognitive decline and could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Turmeric is a yellow spice that is used to flavor many dishes. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to have a number of benefits including anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant effects, improved cognition and memory, relief from depression, and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
10. Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is an essential product in our diet and a product that is full of antioxidants called polyphenols. Some research has suggested that polyphenols help improve memory and learning. Furthermore, they could also help reverse age-related diseases that reduce cognitive abilities and combat toxic proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Eggs are a source of nutrients link to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid and choline. The latter is a micronutrient that the body uses to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and memory, among other functions. Additionally, group B vitamins and folic acid may help delay age-related cognitive decline.
12. Green Tea
As in the case of coffee, the caffeine in green tea increases cognitive performance, improving alertness, memory, and concentration.
One of the components found in green tea, L-theanine, is an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier of the brain and helps increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, related to the reduction of anxiety. L-Theanine also increases the frequency of alpha waves, helping you to relax without feeling tired.
Like most green leafy is healthy foods, spinach also contains nutrients that help improve cognitive functions. This food is pack with vitamin K, which is consider the best vitamin for memory and concentration.
Spinach has also been suggesting to help slow the decline in memory and cognitive abilities in adults. Spinach is also rich in vitamin A, which helps reduce inflammation of brain cells.
Tomatoes are the source of a powerful antioxidant know as lycopene. This antioxidant helps reduce cell damage that can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Lycopene can also help prevent depression, which can cause more inflammation in the brain. Furthermore, tomatoes (especially cherry tomatoes) contain carotenoids, nutrients that help improve cognitive abilities and promote memory capacity.
15. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, like other types of seeds such as flax, chia or sesame, contain numerous antioxidants that protect the brain from damage by free radicals. They are also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. These micronutrients act to improve nerve function, to increase cognitive functions such as memory and learning, and to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
16. Whole Grains
Among the most common whole grains, we can find oats, quinoa, corn or flaxseed, among others. These grains contain a large amount of fiber, and according to the latest research, their consumption may be related to a lower risk of mild cognitive decline that can progress to Alzheimer’s disease.
Diets that include these whole grains can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, which can play a significant role in increasing the risk of brain and heart disease.
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