Foods That Improve Your Memory (& Give You Bunch of Other Benefits, Too) We sure hope you’re hungry today because we’re going to give you a grocery list like no other. The grocery list we’re speaking of is packed to the brim with all kinds of amazing foods that improve your memory, which is likely pretty helpful as exams roll around and you need to remember everything you should pack for your spring break trip to Cabo. So settle in while we give you some brain healthy food for thought! What Does A Brain Healthy Diet Do? Never underestimate the power of a healthy diet loaded with brain friendly food. Scientists have been telling us for a long time that we need to fuel our bodies with the right stuff in order to function better, but most of us don’t listen because we’re too busy scarfing down Oreo’s and waiting for the pizza guy to show up. Hopefully you’ll step away from the junk food and pick up a spinach salad with salmon, sunflower seeds and a coconut oil dressing after we tell you a few of the ways brain boosting foods can help you. Take notes and get ready to make a grocery list that will make your brain happy. Increases Concentration You can’t make the most out of your brain power if you’re not feeding it properly. You need proper fuel to rev up your brain cells and allow them to send messages back and forth among themselves, which requires you to have an adequate reserve of blood sugar in order for this to happen. Follow Mom’s orders and eat three super healthy meals each day and toss in a brain boosting snack or two. Meals rich in healthy oils (think fish, nuts, seeds and coconut oil) actually help to generate myelin in your brain. Myelin is your brain’s BFF and will help your concentrate better and remember more, so fill up on the good stuff. Enhances Your Mood A healthy dose of brain friendly food can do wonders for your mood. The right kind of foods can mimic the feel good neurotransmitter, dopamine, which will quickly turn that frown upside down. The big bonus here is the lack of a mood plummet that is often followed when the dopamine released from junk food wears off. So, good food means your good mood will stick around for even longer. You can snack on protein rich foods that will trick your brain into a feel good state. Some great protein rich foods are things like edamame, almonds, eggs and whole grains. All of which are also great for improving your memory. Grab some chocolate if you need a really quick jolt of dopamine because it will send a nice fat molecule to your brain disguised as a dopamine transmitter. Keeps You Alert Caffeine in moderate amounts is actually a good thing for your brain. It will keep you alert, more focused and can help with your memory. Just make sure you don’t go overboard on the espresso train because too much dark roasted goodness is likely to make you anxious, twitchy and foggy. The way caffeine works with your brain cells is kind of cool. It binds to specific cell receptors in your brain and then helps to fight off those sleepy electrical currents buzzing about in your brain. Then your brain cells get jiggy with it and give you a nice boost of energy. See, told you it was cool! Curbs Unhealthy Cravings Scientists have told us for years how bad sugar and fat are for our bodies, but we still fall into their tangled web when we are stressed out. This happens because our bodies freak out and tell our brains to binge on brownies, chips, pizza and the like as a way to feel better. Only we don’t really feel better after indulging on this junk and we’ve exposed our brains to the sugar/fat that it is all too happy to hold on to. After a while our brains become addicted to this unhealthy way of eating and the vicious cycle to curb cravings begins. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You can resist the temptation and find another way to get the dopamine flowing. Eat brain healthy food and do something else you enjoy when a craving strikes. Improves Memory Keep your brain healthy and your memory on point by avoiding foods that are loaded with saturated and trans fat. These two types of fat are no friend at all to your memory and will only make you forget why you walked into a room in the first place or where you left your phone. Interestingly enough, scientists have found that certain foods are able to positively impact your memory by getting your brain excited and stimulating it with acetylcholine. This is the same chemical found to help the memory of Alzheimer’s patients, too! Foods That Improve Memory It’s time to get to the matter at hand and discover some of the tasty foods that improve your memory. Some of these foods may be really easy to add to your diet and there are some that may cause you to wrinkle your nose a bit at first. Do yourself a favor and make an effort to eat these foods, though. Your brain will thank you! Your grades are likely to improve and you’re bound to feel better all around. Let’s get to it and talk about some healthy, delicious and memory friendly foods! Avocado: Anyone up for a guac-off? Seriously, chow down on these oddball fruits…Yep, that’s right, I said fruits! Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E and K and potassium. The health benefits packed into them is kind of amazing. They are said to reduce cholesterol, increase blood flow, block free radicals, boost memory and even help guard the brain from strokes. Coconut Oil: Fuel your memory with the wonder of coconut oil, stat. Coconut oil has gained major steam over the last several years and for good reason. This wonder oil has medium chain triglucerides, which our bodies love to use as fuel and leaving the much needed glucose for our brains. Doctors have even praised the use of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s and dementia prevention due to its notable anti-inflammatory properties. You can cook with it, bake with it, add it to your coffee/tea, use it as a salad dressing or toss it back straight if you’re brave. Beans and Legumes: Beans, beans, the musical fruit! The more you eat the more you…remember! For real! Beans and their sidekick, legumes, are pint sized powerhouses loaded with complex carbohydrates. These are the good kind of carbs that helps your brain function better and sends the good kind of sugar to it. The combo of folate and omega fatty acids is a total bonus for your noggin. Berries: Good news! You now have an excuse to buy whipped cream and binge eat berries covered in it! The American Chemical Society gave blueberries, strawberries and acai berries a big fat thumbs up for their awesome memory aiding abilities. They even went as far as calling berries a “housekeeper” for the brain as they are a great way to preserve memory and function. Fresh Fish: Make friends with your local fish monger and hope he’ll give you a discount on salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchard and kippers. These are known as “oily fish” and are high on the list of must eats for anyone looking to improve their memory. There’s a good reason for their oily nickname, too, as they are super high in omega 3 fatty acids. They are also known for being packed with EPA and DHA, which work together with omega 3’s to improve brain function, memory, and may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in those who consume a lot of these fish. Nuts and Seeds: You’re nuts if don’t add almonds, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds to your diet! These little babies are packed with brain and nervous system boosting goodness in the form of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. A little bit of these nuts goes a long way, so grab a handful while you study. Pomegranate Juice: This tasty juice is bursting with antioxidants, which are little warriors against free radicals that attempt to dampen your memory. Pomegranate juice tastes good and doesn’t require you to drink a whole lot of it, which you don’t want to do anyway because of the sugar added. Just 2 to 3 ounces a day will help a lot. You can even snack on the actual fruit itself if you’re up for a rather seedy experience. Freshly Brewed Loose Leaf Tea: Grab a kettle and some loose leaf tea! The combination between the caffeine, antioxidants and catechines are going to help your memory, mood and ability to focus. It’s important to remember that the tea needs to be freshly brewed and loose leafed in order to really work. Bottled, powdered and bagged tea won’t get the job done since they are often loaded with preservatives and other fillers. Head to your local health food store for some loose leaf ginseng, periwinkle, rosemary and green tea. Seed and Nut Butter: There’s no need to ditch your peanut butter habit now that you’re in college. Actually, peanut butter is super high in the right kind of healthy fat that your brain craves when working on memory. Don’t stop at just peanut butter, though! Add some almond, hazelnut and sunflower butter into the mix as well. They too are loaded with healthy fats and much needed vitamin E. Broccoli: Fill your plate with broccoli even if you hated it as a kid. These little miniature trees are bursting with memory hearty elements that truly make it a super food. Broccoli is rich in vitamins C and K, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, calcium and a few B vitamins. All of these minerals and vitamins work together to wage war against free radicals, keep the good blood flowing to your organs and help work the bad heavy metals out. All of these things are necessary for a healthy brain and sharp memory. Chia: If you’re unfamiliar with chia seeds, it’s time to get to know them. Who’d think that something so tiny could be packed with so much memory enhancing goodness? Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants. All of these things are great for your body in general and are also noted to help fuel your memory. Dark Chocolate: It may not be as sweet and melt in your mouth worthy as milk chocolate, but dark chocolate is the way to go if you need a boost in memory and cognitive function. You can thank the flavonoids in the chocolate for the extra brain power provided from the boost in blood vessel functionality. Whole Grains: Most of us know that whole grains are pretty good for our hearts, but the health benefits don’t stop there. Doctors suggest eating some whole grains three times a day to promote a healthy blood flow to your heart and your brain! Whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and certain breads are loaded with the goods to keep your memory primed. Dark Leafy Greens: Fill your grocery cart with lots and lots of dark leafy greens the next time you go shopping. Stock up on things like kale, collard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage and mustard greens. These hearty veggies are low in calories and are a great addition to any meal as a result since you can have a nice size serving of each. They are also rich in folate and vitamin E. Herbs: Sage and rosemary are good for more than their delightful smell and taste! They are actually gaining a nice little name for themselves for their value to your memory. You can add these herbs to your food, water, tea and even use them in the form of essential oil.