Improve Memory With These Foods
Do you enter a room and forget what you wanted to do? Do you have trouble remembering phone numbers or the shopping list? Don’t worry – there’s something you can do to improve memory. In this article you can find which foods will help you maintain and even improve your memory capabilities.
How many times have you entered the room and didn’t recall what for? how many times have you tried unsuccessfully to remember the name of that person or another, or the girl next door? have you ever gone out of your home and you couldn’t recall if you locked the front door? All of these symptoms, and many others, are signs of memory loss. Around the age of 50 our memory, reaction speed and ability to learn new skills goes down by half compared to our abilities at the age of 20. But don’t worry, there are many things we can do to improve memory and restore it and one of the most important is nutrition. Our diet significantly affects how we think, our level of intelligence and memory. Proper nutrition will affect the level of oxygen reaching the brain, the enzyme activity that increases brain activity, and encourage the development of brain cells and function.
The new buzz in research on wisdom and memory is called programming. According to it, food our mothers ate during pregnancy, and even foods consumed by our grandmothers, may affect the extent of our intelligence today. Programming claims that poor nutrition during pregnancy of the mother and grandmother directly affects certain organs, especially the brain. Folate deficiency and low consumption of protein and calories leads to smaller head circumference and smaller brain, affecting the ability of our learning in the future. Iron deficiency during pregnancy affects our IQ. This is true in our infancy as well as adulthood. Of course now we cannot really affect food quality of our mother during pregnancy, but still our present diet influences the quality of memory.
So what can you do to improve memory?
1. Breakfast: starts up the brain
According to a study conducted at Harvard University, people who don’t miss their breakfast and make sure to eat a nutritious breakfast, remember more, are more alert and even their reaction time on the road is better than those who skip breakfast continuously. Our brain consists of 100 billion “hungry” cells. The cells need a constant supply of energy for essential activities. Although brain cells comprise only about 2% of the total body mass, yet they consume about 20% to 30% of daily calories we eat. It is important to eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, that are digested slowly in the digestive tract, such as whole grain breads and whole-grain cereal (fiber rich) with milk and a small fruit such as an apple or a banana.
2. Fish: necessary for proper function of the brain
In today’s world, it is important to increase the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid, that the body needs for proper functioning of cells and cannot produce it itself. This acid is abundant in North Sea fish. 50% of the brain is fat and it functions properly by consuming omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. DHA is an essential component in operating the nerve cells. It helps regulate brain signals operation and release hormones such as serotonin. Since our body do not produce fatty acids itself, the main source will be using omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and relatively lean fish such as mullet, mackerel and grouper. It is important to emphasize that although the fish are very healthy, in this industrial era there are some important points to remember: prefer lean fish, because the chemicals are concentrated mainly in the fatty tissues of the fish. For the same reason young fish is preferred over older fish because it was in the water shorter period therefore absorbed relatively low concentration of chemicals and mercury.Limit your intake of tuna once a week because of the chemicals and quantities of mercury it contains. It is desirable that pregnant women limit their consumption of tuna to once a month. Prefer canned fish originating from the Pacific Ocean and parts of Norway or Chile.
3. Antioxidants: neutralizing the free radicals
Recommendation in the brain and memory researches is to eat foods rich in antioxidants to keeping a good memory. Brain uses about 20% of the body’s overall oxygen and therefore subject to the attack of particles called free radicals. Radicals enter the body by cigarette smoke, soot, fried food, X-ray machines and more. These are unstable molecules that attack, hit and destroy cells and DNA in general, and specifically brain cells. Even if 99% of free radicals that were neutralized by foods rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, E, beta carotene and phytochemicals found in fruits, vegetables, green tea and coenzyme Q-10, then there is 1% of radical cell that caused damage. Cumulative damage as we get older and the effect of increased cell damage affect the process of destruction of brain cells.
What can you do? Try to maintain a high level of antioxidants in the body through a diet rich in antioxidants and reducing daily stress, which will help you keep a clear mind and sharp memory. A study by a university in the Netherlands showed that students’ thinking abilities increased when they ate foods rich in beta carotene. Research conducted in other parts of the world confirmed it.
These “smart foods” will help you keep a clear mind and better memory over time:
Foods that are good sources of vitamin C: green pepper (1 large), broccoli (1/2 cup), orange slices (1 cup) fresh strawberries (1/2 cup), Swiss chard (½ cup).
Foods that are good sources of beta-carotene: carrot juice (1 cup), fresh carrots (1 large), sweet potato (1 medium), melon (1/4 melon).
Foods that are good sources of vitamin E: Wheat germ oil (1/4 cup), cooked wheat germ (1/2 cup), roasted almonds (1/4 cup).
The Best Herbs to Improve Memory and Brain Function, Including Brain Enhancer Tonic Recipe
During the years, I heard many people complain about their short memory, and I could sympathise with it, as during exams I also needed more time than the average student to remember all the material. I’ve already written in the past about foods that can improve memory, and this time I want to add to it and to share with you some herbs that improve memory and brain function.
The Best Herbs to Improve Memory and Brain Function:
In my book The Herbal Remedies Guide, I’ve already mentioned the ginkgo leaf as a remedy to several ailments. It is a versatile herb that strengthen memory and improve circulation. The leaves of this ancient Chinese herb help boost brain function by providing more oxygen to the cells. Scientific studies have confirmed these results in humans.
Another herb that is in use for thousands of years in Asia is Gotu Kola. It is a leafy herb that is a member of the parsley family. Gotu Kola’s traditional uses include promoting healing of wounds and resolving skin conditions, but in addition to it, it also improves mental clarity. In more recent times, research on Gotu Kola indicates that it is effective in stimulating cerebral circulation, which promotes brain health.
Some studies suggest that rosemary – the fragrant herb known for its ability to ease itchy scalp and soothe muscles – could also have big brain-boosting benefits. Some research linked rosemary scent to better performance on both the speed and accuracy tests, and that it improves the overall quality of memory.
You’ve probably heard that along with smart teaching, careful preparation, a good night’s sleep and a full stomach, peppermint candies are said to improve test performance. In the 1990s, researchers at University of Cincinnati found that a smell of peppermint helped test subjects concentrate and do better on tasks that required sustained concentration and achieved improvement in focus and alertness.
Sage is a wonderful herb that can add flavor to soups, salad dressings and juices. But this herb also has powerful memory enhancing qualities. In trials, even small amounts of sage have been shown to significantly boost memory recall. Sage has even been also found to improve the interconnectivity of the different parts of the brain.
Below you can find a brain enhancer tonic to improve memory. It needs to be used consistently for at least 2-3 months to see effective results. It may help you to remember that things that you tend to forget, such as where you put the keys, or remembering phone numbers or the shopping list.
Brain Enhancer Tonic Recipe
2 parts gotu kola
2 parts ginkgo leaf
1 part peppermint
1/2 part rosemary
1/2 part sage
Brandy or vodka
Place the herbs in a jar and cover with brandy or vodka. Seal the jar tightly with a lid and place in a warm area away from direct sunlight for 6-8 weeks. Make sure to shake the jar every few days to prevent the herbs from sinking on the bottom of the jar. Strain the alcohol and store it in a bottle.
How to use it? use 1/2-1 tsp of the tonic diluted in 1/4 cup of warm water, juice or tea 3 times a day for 2-3 months.