Confession: my kid just beat me in Memory. AGAIN. That’s like 20 times in a row.
I’d like to say I’m letting him win, but the truth is my 40-year-old brain power just isn’t operating at full speed anymore.
From forgetting names to where we left our sunglasses – and the worst, that panicky feeling when we’re at the grocery store and can’t recall our PIN right away – the effects of memory decline can be annoying and even scary.
While most people associate memory decline with something that only affects seniors, studies show that our brain health starts going downhill at age 40. (Whew, we ARE normal, after all!)
Here’s the good news: we don’t have to take up Sudoku or join the local chess club to boost our brain power. We can improve our brain health just by eating certain foods.
Check ‘em out …
Top 10 Foods to Boost Brain Health
“Beet” brain fog with these ridiculously healthy root vegetables. Beets are loaded with nitrates, which increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. In fact, research indicates that drinking beet juice may even fight dementia. If you don’t like beets, hear us out and give this beet chip recipe a try. (In a blind taste test, the fam thought they were potato chips!)
The poor, misunderstood egg. It gets such a bad rap, getting blamed for high cholesterol and heart disease. In reality, eggs are quite egg-cellent for our health .. yes, including the health of our heart. Eggs are packed with vitamins D and E, folic acid and choline, a key nutrient for mental focus and learning. Word to the wise: don’t try to save calories by just eating the egg whites … the yolk is where all the good stuff is!
#3: Wild Salmon
Give your brain an oil change by serving up some Alaskan wild-caught salmon. A 3-ounce serving contains more than 1,500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Most people know that omega-3s are great for the heart, but the lesser known fact is they’re great for the brain. In fact, lower levels of omega-3s have been associated with smaller brain size and accelerated brain aging. Don’t like fish? Check out these plant-based sources for omega-3s.
Like we need another reason to stuff our faces with guacamole, but here it is: Avocados increase blood flow to the brain, which improves memory and concentration. Sure, avocados are a fatty fruit, but it’s the good kind of fat that your body needs. Learn more about the different kinds of fats and their food sources here.
#5: Whole Grains
OK, who isn’t a sucker for a grilled cheese on white bread from a roadside diner now and again? We all have our vices, but as a rule for better brain health, replace those white foods in your pantry with whole grains. Whole grain cereals, bread, pasta and rice will give your brain a steady stream of all-day energy and help keep you focused and alert.
#6: Cherry Tomatoes
You say tomato, I say better brain health. These bright red beauties are a tasty way to improve memory and mental cognition, courtesy of a superstar carotenoid inside them called lycopene. Lycopene is found in high doses in the skin of tomatoes, which makes these little guys pack a powerful punch of brain nutrition. The cherry (tomato) on top is that lycopene is also a natural mood booster.
If only the Scarecrow had stuffed himself with blueberries instead of straw – would’ve saved him a ton of time on his quest for a brain. Blueberries are one of the best foods on the planet, period. They’re loaded with antioxidants to fight free radicals and inflammation in the body, plus they contain gallic acid, a natural compound that studies link to better brain function.
Mmm … whether it’s raw or in a cheesy soup, we can’t resist this stuff. Good thing too because broccoli boasts two important nutrients for better brain health: Vitamin K to muscle-up your cognitive function and choline, known to improve memory. In fact, in a memory test, people who ate lots of choline-rich foods scored higher than their broccoli-hating counterparts.
For the same reason salmon is great for the brain, so are walnuts. They’re loaded with DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that improves memory and cognitive performance. While we’re crazy for all types of nuts, walnuts have twice as many antioxidants versus other nuts like almonds, peanuts and pistachios.
#10: Bone Broth
Bone broth is all the rage these days, with celebrities touting it as a magic elixir for youthful-looking skin. But the benefits of bone broth are more than skin deep. Bone broth is known to help with “leaky gut syndrome.” This matters because your gut and brain are closely connected. A happy gut means better mental and emotional wellness.
Should You Be Taking Nootropics?
Nootropics (aka “smart drugs”) are brain supplements that improve memory, increase the ability to learn, and protect the brain from mental decline. If you’re a picky eater, don’t have time to whip up a batch of bone broth, or simply want to give your brain added protection, a nootropic is a smart addition to your daily diet.
MIND is a nootropic with PROVEN core nutrients … the best ones for better brain health.
Key Nutrients for Better Brain Health
- Cognizin® Citicoline: generated from choline to protect against brain cell damage
- Niacinamide: essential B vitamin that improves memory and mental acuity
- Acetyl L-Carnitine: circulates cellular energy, increasing concentration and focus
- Bacopa Monnieri Leaf Extract: “fountain of youth” for the brain, protecting cells from free radicals
- Alpha-GPC: fatty acid and natural choline compound found in the brain that improves thinking and learning
- Vinpocetine: Long history of treating senility and improving both short- and long-term memory
In addition to brain food, there are many other steps you can take to improve your daily brain health. Find out what they are by reading How to Improve Memory Focus and Concentration in 5 Easy Steps.
It’s time to put on our smarty pants and enjoy better brain health (and show the kiddos who’s boss in Memory)! Share this and help your friends make “smart” food choices too. 🙂