Published On: Tue, Mar 12th, 2013

Top Memory Boosting Foods For Seniors

Top Memory Boosting Foods For SeniorsMost of us can relate — forgetting where we put the keys, mixing up the digits in a friend’s phone number or walking into a room and forgetting what we wanted there! Forgetfulness is normal, and a certain level of memory loss is an inevitable part of aging, but there are steps we can take to help optimize brain health and even boost our memory:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Get regular exercise
  • Challenge your brain
  • Don’t smoke
  • Keep stress in check
  • Keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check
  • Eat to promote heart and brain health

Brain healthy diet
Healthy habits are good for both the heart and the brain. The reason — every cell in the body needs a steady flow of oxygen and nutrients, and that includes the brain cells. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to the brain in the blood stream — the bottom line, a healthy heart relates to a healthy brain.
We all know the value of a healthy diet but did you know that there are actually memory-boosting foods? A twenty-five year study conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine, found that those with diets high in vegetables experienced less age-related memory loss. Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens had the greatest effect on memory retention over the course of the study.
You might be asking, “What are cruciferous vegetables?” They are members of the cabbage family including:

  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Kale

Leafy greens containing brain-boosting power include:

  • Squash
  • Swiss chard
  • Collard
  • Spinach
  • Mustard Greens

Memory boosting foods
Foods rich in folic acid can also help boost memory. Research into memory decline from Boston’s Tufts University, shows that folic acid in foods helps protect memory and may in fact be directly associated with quicker memory recall. Foods high in folic acid include:

  • Fortified Whole-Grain Cereals
  • Lentils
  • Soybeans
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Spinach
  • Green Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Wheat Germ
  • Beets
  • Oranges

Memory protecting foods
Foods high in the antioxidant Vitamin E help protect neurons in the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease neurons in certain areas of the brain begin to die, setting off a chain of events leading to deterioration in the brain’s ability to process information. Foods high in Vitamin E include:

  • Almonds and Hazelnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Whole Grains
  • Spinach
  • Avocado

Foods that help get rid of toxic proteins in the body and put the brakes on age-related memory decline include:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Acai Berries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Red Onions
  • Rhubarb
  • Red Beets
  • Red Apples
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Elderberries
  • Apricots

Memory preserving foods
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago studied three thousand individuals over a period of six years and found that including fish containing the heart healthy omega-3s such as

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel and
  • Tuna

at least once a week were astonishing! Those that ate fish once a week had a ten percent slower decline in memory in comparison with those that didn’t eat fish.

The dietary professionals in retirement communities today are motivated to go the extra mile in senior nutrition. With these amazing memory-boosting food tips in mind, challenge yourself and make it a habit to include more of them in your balanced diet.

Written by Alice Lucette, a Canadian blogger.

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