Food is the fuel that regulates your energy and mood, which can also significantly affect your memory and focus. Just like your car can’t run without fuel, your brain can’t run without the right fuel also. Food has the incredible ability to affect your memory, mood, mental clarity, and focus, so the best places to start is what you put on your plate.
Here are 5 of the best foods that will help to improve your memory and focus.
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Eggs are a great food for memory because they’re a rich source of a B Vitamin called choline which the brain relies on to manufacture the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is key for memory. Approximately 90% of the American population is deficient in choline. Eating 3 eggs daily will meet women’s minimum requirement. 4 eggs a day for men.
Amongst most fruit and vegetables blueberries contain the highest number of antioxidants, due to their abundance of compounds called flavonoids. Blueberries contain two very important compounds that are known to improve brain function: anthocyanins and pterostilbene.
These antioxidants go a long way with protecting your brain and have also been shown to improve memory and increase blood flow to the brain. Anthocyanins can cross the blood brain barrier and enhance the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, the hippocampus. One 12-week study of those taking blueberries showed improved memory and mood in addition to improved blood sugar levels.
3) Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is popular in the vegan community as a substitute for cheese. Similar to the active yeasts found in breads, but without the leavening agents, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast made from sugar cane and beet molasses. It’s then heated and dried and crumbled into flakes and tastes almost identical to cheese!
If you frequently experience brain fog or memory problems, you may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency and nutritional yeast is a great source of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is crucial for making new neurons or brain cells and to engage the action of our neurotransmitters but it can be a tough one to get through food. As you may have heard, vegans are especially at risk since one of the best sources are animal foods.
Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, a key antioxidant that protects your brain.
Ever hear of food synergy? The idea is that two foods taken together are more nutritious together. Vitamin E and Vitamin C go together like PB and jelly!
A study confirmed the power of this duo for preventing memory loss and lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia by 60%. Other studies have found that a diet rich in Vitamins C and E was linked to a 20-25% decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pair Vitamin E rich almonds with vitamin C rich berries like blueberries and strawberries to take advantage of this powerful combo.
Collards are a great source of calcium, yes that’s right it’s entirely possible to get calcium from sources other than milk. You can use collards as a wrap for burritos or tacos, slice into strips and toss into your salad or stews.
Remember food synergy? Well calcium helps with the absorption of Vitamin D. If you don’t have enough Vitamin D in your body, it means that your body can’t process calcium.
Yes, calcium is important for bone health but it’s also important for the release of neurotransmitters. Low levels of calcium may lead to impaired memory, focus, depression and anxiety.