Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | Memory | Natural | Foods

Top 10 Natural Memory-Boosting Foods

Image: Top 10 Natural Memory-Boosting Foods
Walnuts with leaf. (Valentyn75/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:32 AM

Finding help for memory and cognitive issues becomes increasingly important to most people as they age.Vitamins and minerals contained in a variety of foods have been studied for their potential in helping memory.

Although the National Institutes of Health cautions that more research needs to be done, initial studies have been strong properties in some foods that help with cognitive function.

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Here are seven natural memory-boosting foods:

1. Walnuts: In 2014, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease reported that walnuts may help in "combating Alzheimer's disease." A study found "significant improvement in learning skills, memory, reducing anxiety, and motor development in mice fed a walnut-enriched diet." The benefits were attributed to the high antioxidant content.

2. Eggs: Choline, found in egg yolks, has been studied for its effect on memory. A study published in The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition found a relationship between choline intake and better cognitive performance.

3. Beets and beet juice: A 2010 study found that drinking beet juice improved the blood flow in the brains of older people, reports WebMD. "Beet roots contain high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites by bacteria in the mouth." In addition, the "nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen. Previous studies have shown that nitrites — also found in high concentrations in celery, cabbage, and other leafy, green vegetables like spinach — widen blood vessels, but researchers say this was the first to find that nitrites also increase blood flow to the brain."

4. Shrimp: Scientists aren't completely in agreement on whether this seafood boosts brain function and would help memory. But its high quantities of vitamin B12 was determined in some early observational studies to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's, according to Healthline. However, a large study in 2014 found little improvement in cognitive function when B12 and folic acid were taken by a large group of seniors. Many believe there is still potential for vitamin B12 to help with memory, primarily because it lowers blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been linked to memory loss.

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5. All fish: Fish contain DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, and some studies have shown that it helps to improve memory and brain function. A study done on rats, published in Neuroscience, found that DHA helped to improve the rats' memory-related learning abilities.

6. Dark green, leafy vegetables: Include with this category any foods that contain vitamin E, which has been found to be helpful for memory. The National Institute of Health says more research is needed, but "Vitamin E might slow down the worsening of memory loss in people with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin E might also delay the loss of independence and the need for caregiver assistance in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. However, vitamin E does not seem to prevent moving from mild memory problems to full-blown Alzheimer's disease."

7. Red wine: This favorite alcoholic beverage contains resveratrol, which has been studied for its properties that aid memory. A study reported on by LiveScience and published in the Journal of Neuroscience found overweight adults taking resveratrol supplements had improved memory. Researchers at Texas A&M told The Independent that a study there found that the red wine component acted on the hippocampus, which regulates memory, as well as learning and mood.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Finding help for memory and cognitive issues becomes increasingly important to most people as they age.Vitamins and minerals contained in a variety of foods have been studied for their potential in helping memory.
Memory, Natural, Foods
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:32 AM
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