Foods That Improve Memory: 5 Snacks for Better Brain Power

Blueberries are one of the essential foods that improve memory

Our bodies are constantly changing as we develop through different stages of life. This includes our cognition and memory, which degrade over time. To prevent age-related mental decline, you need to eat foods that improve memory. 

But, overhauling your diet can seem like a big challenge. So, I’ve learned to incrementally incorporate healthier foods into my diet as I discover new information about nutrition and health. These small dietary changes may seem unimpactful in the short term, but will transform the way you approach nutrition in the long term. 

To understand these benefits, let’s delve into how our brains change as we get older.

How Our Brains Change As We Age

Brain volume peaks in your 20’s 

Learning new skills in childhood is easy because of neuroplasticity. This means that it’s easier for our brains to make new connections that help us remember what we learn. In your early to mid-twenties, your brain hits peak capacity for volume and learning. 

It’s still possible to learn complex skills after this life stage, but it’s challenging. As you age, it’s important to be mindful of including foods that improve brain function and memory in your diet. 

By your 40’s, your cortex begins to shrink 

As they turn forty, many people begin to notice subtle differences in memory. Suddenly, it may be difficult to remember a word, phrase, or name during a conversation.

This is due to the decline of the brain’s cerebral cortex. The cortex handles all things attention, thought, and memory-related. 

The good news is that you have a great deal of control over how aging affects your physical wellbeing. By eating more foods that improve cognition and memory, your brain gets vitamins that act as brain boosters. Research suggests there are natural foods that improve memory and cognition. Here are a few of the best brain food ideas to include in your diet. 

5 Snack Foods That Improve Memory 

There are 5 nutritional compounds that can prevent age-related mental decline: 

  • Flavonoids 
  • Antioxidants 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids  
  • Anti-Inflammatory Compounds 
  • Curcumin

Here are some snack ideas for these brain-healthy compounds that can maximize cognition and memory at any age. 

1. Blueberry Banana Smoothie 

To start, blueberries are one of the best brain food options out there. A 2014 study on berries shows that blueberries enhance memory performance. They’re packed with flavonoids and antioxidants that help regulate cell function. 

For a quick blueberry banana smoothie:

  • Combine 1 cup of blueberries, 1 banana, ½ cup vanilla yogurt, and 1 cup of milk (almond or soy are great).
  • Blend until smooth.

See the full recipe here.

2. Whole Wheat Bagels Thins and Lox

Next, salmon is an excellent food for memory. In 2017, researchers studied the relationship between fatty fish and memory. The study found that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish support brain structures related to memory and learning. 

Omega-3s reinforce neurons responsible for regulating the nervous system. Bodies can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids, so we have to get them through our diet. 

Try this quick bagel and lox recipe to incorporate omega-3’s into your diet:

  • Spread light cream cheese over a toasted bagel.
  • Top with a few slices of smoked salmon, capers, and thinly sliced red onions to taste.

See the full recipe here.

3. Cinnamon Turmeric Sweet Potatoes 

If you want to take your mind-healthy diet to the next level, include turmeric in the mix. Turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound with numerous health benefits.

New studies show that curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier and supports brain cells. This may help memory by aiding our brain in growing new cells. Curcumin also has antioxidant properties linked to longevity. 

Give this sweet potato recipe a try:

  • Chop 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes into cubes.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of thyme into the cubes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

See the complete recipe here.

4. Dark Chocolate Squares

Great news for chocolate lovers – cacao is one of the best foods to boost your memory. The research behind cacao suggests that its flavonoid and caffeine content encourages neuron growth.

The chocolate squares must contain 70% cacao or higher to provide benefits. 

5. Broccoli and Hummus 

Finally, here’s one of several vegetables that improve memory. Broccoli is a key memory booster for people of any age. 

It’s filled with flavonoids, antioxidants, and other compounds that prevent degenerative diseases. It also contains more than half of our recommended daily value of vitamin C and fiber. 

You can easily make preservative-free hummus for your broccoli at home:

  • Add 1 cup of chickpeas, ⅓ cup of tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic, and 5 tablespoons of water to a blender.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Blend until smooth.

See the full recipe here.

Incorporating these memory-boosting foods into your diet is an important step towards holistic health and improved longevity. Every choice you make has a direct impact on your quality of life. And, if you’re mindful about your diet and overall wellness, you can lead a longer, more fulfilling life. 

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