Over the last few years, more and more research has been conducted about how the foods we eat affect brain health. It has been clear for years that eating foods high in trans fats and sugar are bad for our health, but it’s recently been proven that these foods are bad for our brains as well. In a world full of fast food and pre-made dishes, how can you tell what’s good for your brain and what you should stay away from? Below are 10 nutrients that can help to improve memory as well as prevent memory problems.
1. Omega 3
Omega 3 has been shown to actually protect our brains from deteriorating and improve memory and concentration.Getting enough Omega 3 can make a big difference as we age, which is why it’s important to introduce Omega 3 rich foods into your diet.
2. Iron+Vit C
Iron is a very important mineral that our bodies need in order to function properly. It helps improve memory, attention, and cognitive performance.Much of the iron that we receive from foods needs extra help getting absorbed by our bodies, which is why it’s recommended to eat vitamin C along with your serving of iron.Vitamin C helps our bodies absorb the iron we consume, making each gram of iron work more efficiently to help improve your memory.
Antioxidants help our brains by cleansing it of the free radicals that are produced naturally. Free radicals accumulate as you age, and affect your memory and cognition levels which is why it is so important to get a healthy dose of antioxidants to neutralize them.
Our brains need zinc to help the neurons communicate with each other. It’s been shown that a deficient amount of zinc in the brain can cause memory impairment, which is why it’s important.
5. Vitamin E
There is scientific evidence that suggests vitamin E can be of benefit to the mind and memory.Although a study has found that high amounts of vitamin E can help people with mid-level Alzheimer’s disease, you should be able to get an adequate amount of vitamin E from food.
6. Vitamin B
Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid all help control levels of homocysteine,an amino acid that has been associated with poor memory and increased risk of dementia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is quite common in vegetarians and older adults.
7. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a super-vitamin that helps to improve memory, cognitive ability, and learning. It’s been shown that Alzheimer’s patients consumed less vitamin K than people without.
A study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience explains how caffeine has a positive effect on our long-term memory. Part of how caffeine works is how it blocks a chemical called adenosine, which is what helps you feel awake and alert, and can also help improve memory.
Our brains are made up of up to 85% water, which is why it can be sensitive to little changes. As little as 2% water loss can cause memory loss and weaken other cognitive functions (concentration, attention, learning, processing speed, etc.)
Unsaturated fats, or the “good” fats, can be great for our brains. Getting enough of these fats keeps the brain working well and have been proven to help improve memory and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.