Consuming memory boosting foods not only improves our ability to remember, it also diminishes our likelihood of developing dementia. And the latest food studies are proving why.
For example, in July 2018, new research was released by an international team of scientists from Quebec. They studied 215 people, age 60 to 70 years old.
It was a placebo-controlled, double blind, randomized clinical study that lasted 6 months. In that period, a random group of subjects received a polyphenol-rich extract of grapes and blueberries while others received a placebo.
In this case, the group who received the grapes and blueberries were already showing cognitive decline.
When the research concluded they discovered that the individuals who performed at the level of an 83-year-old at the beginning of the study, scored like 70-year-olds after 6 months on the polyphenol-rich extract from grapes and blueberries
Blueberries have always been in the top 10 of memory boosting foods, but what this study proved was that when grapes and blueberries are combined, your memory improves.
Yet another study was performed on mice. That study also showed that combining blueberry and grape polyphenols prevented learning and memory deficits caused by aging.
Therefore, I would recommend to anyone concerned about memory loss and cognitive problems to include a mix of dark red grapes and blueberries in their diet every day.
For example, I came up with this memory boosting foods combination in the form of muffins. Healthy muffins are a wonderful grab-n-go snack especially when you freeze them individually.
Furthermore, I would also recommend including 3 servings of leafy greens to your diet every day. A serving is one cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked.
Many studies indicate that the consumption of leafy green vegetables is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline.
Researchers from the Memory and Aging Project followed 960 participants over 5 years. The team focused on the level of consumption of green leafy vegetables, like spinach, collard greens, kale and lettuce.
The average age of the participants was 81-years old, and all were dementia-free at the beginning of the study. Over 5 years, participants underwent an annual array of tests that assessed episodic memory, working memory, and semantic memory.
When the study was over, they discovered that people who consumed 3 servings a day of leafy greens had significantly slower cognitive decline. Not only that, the rate of cognitive decline among those who ate 3 servings of leafy greens a day, was the equivalent to being 11 years younger cognitively.
Beet Juice & Exercise
A number of studies have shown that physical activity can have positive effects on the brain, particularly as we age. But new research has found that is may be possible to improve these effects simply by drinking beetroot juice before exercising.
The study showed that drinking beetroot juice boosts your stamina and could help you exercise for up to 16% longer. Why? Because drinking beetroot juice raises nitric oxide levels in your body which leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake, making exercise less tiring.
Create your own beet juice by adding some roasted, peeled beets to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 20 to 30 seconds until the beets are completely broken down. Throw in some grated anti- inflammatory ginger for good measure.
Other memory boosting foods include:
- Turmeric – I recommend a 1/4 teaspoon a day – You can add it to a stir-fry, soups and even tea.
- Broccoli – Broccoli is packed with antioxidants and vitamin K. Some studies have linked vitamin K intake to better memory skills. I recommend a 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw a day.
- Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the brain. Keep them in your car or purse as a healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds are also manganese-rich which can help alleviate anxiety.
- Green tea – Green tea boosts brain function by improving alertness, memory and focus. It is also rich in polyphenols that can protect the brain from mental decline.
- Avocado – Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados can help improve cognitive function, especially memory and concentration
Foods that may induce memory loss and increase the risk of Alzheimer's:
Unfortunately the foods that can increase our risk of memory loss are common staples in the American diet.
Foods like white bread, processed meat and cheese have all been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
Also, microwave popcorn can contain dactyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques are found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.
To learn more about brain health and memory boosting foods, listen to my Podcast #35 Brain Disease Symptoms, Prevention and Growing Brain Cells and Podcast #3 The Connection Between A Healthy Gut and Mental Health.
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- 2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup red or purple grapes, cut in thirds
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs *recipe below
- ¾ cup vegan plain yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
- In a medium bowl mix together the maple syrup, flax eggs and yogurt
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, grapes and blueberries
- Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until it is well combined
- Fill a greased muffin tray with the batter and place in oven. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry.
- Set aside to cool.
- *Flax eggs - Whisk 2 tablespoons of ground flax with 5½ tablespoons of water. Please in refrigerator for 10 minutes to thicken