Thursday, 30 October 2014

11. Best Foods and Tips To Improve Memory




A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you're a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance.
Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy? Let's have a look on best foods and tips to improve memory.

11. Best Foods and Tips To Improve Memory
1. Opt for Whole grains


Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy - in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for 'brown' cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.

2. Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain


Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers' brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don't overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

 3. Blueberries


 These berries are antioxidant powerhouses, protecting the brain from oxidative damage and stress that lead to premature aging, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. The flavonoids in blueberries also improve the communication between neurons, improving memory, learning, and all cognitive function, including reasoning, decision making, verbal comprehension, and numerical anility. Other dark berries are good for the brain too, like blackberry, a├žai, and goji berries.

4. Caffeine Can Make You More Alert


There's no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter -- but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

5. Dark green leafy vegetables


Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate, Morris says.

For example, one cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E, and 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach has 25% of your daily intake.

Exactly how folate may protect the brain is unclear, but it may be by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain, but folic acid helps break down homocysteine levels.

High homocysteine levels have also been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.


6. Coconut Oil


Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that the body uses for energy, leaving glucose for the brain. It also seems to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Anything that benefits the heart and circulation also benefits the brain. Coconut oil acts as an anti-inflammatory as well and has been linked to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.

7. Fish Really is Brain Food


A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish -- rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.

For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.

8. Whole Grain Cereal and Orange Juice

 
Start your day out right by eating whole grain cereal and drinking a glass of orange juice for breakfast; both are rich in folic acid (also known as folate), which has been shown to contribute to better memory and faster information processing. For midday munching, you can get folate from foods like soybeans, green peas,  broccoli, and lentils.

9. Avocado


This creamy treat is also a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E.

Research by Morris and her colleague suggests that foods rich in vitamin E including avocado, which is also high in the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C are associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

10. Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements?


Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient.

Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain.

Check with your doctor..

11. Add vitality with vitamins

Certain B vitamins - B6, B12 and folic acid - are known to reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of  homocysteine are associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. A study of a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment found that after two years of intervention with high doses of B6, B12 and folic acid there was significantly less brain shrinkage compared to a subset given placebo treatment.