Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there in the first place? We’ve all been there from time to time, but if you notice you are having a hard time remembering things, it may be time to make some adjustments! You can start boosting your memory long-term by incorporating certain nutrients and supplements into your diet to support your brain function.
Brain Function is Key
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there in the first place? Or, been trying to work on multiple tasks and keep forgetting what you were working on? With so much on your to-do list, things can easily slip through the cracks! Not to mention, there are certain factors that can negatively impact your ability to remember. These factors include-
- Older age (usually around 60+)
- Lack of good quality sleep
- Stress or anxiety
- Certain medications
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Hypo- or hyperthyroidism
If you find yourself in one of the above categories, or just have a hard time remembering things in general, finding ways to boost your memory is crucial! Many nutrients and supplements can enhance memory and cognition.
Omega-3 fatty acids
A nutritional powerhouse, Omega-3 fatty acids have received widespread recognition for their role in reducing inflammation and helping with cholesterol levels. But did you know this healthy fat may also play a role in brain function? Improved memory recall in participants suffering from mild cognitive decline related to age, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s have been improved by omega-3 supplementation according to several research studies. DHA is a specific omega-3 fatty acid that has been effective when curbing memory decline.
DHA is found mostly in fatty fish and algae, and can also be taken in supplemental form. You likely are not eating enough fish weekly to get all of the benefits of this memory-boosting fatty acid, so it may be beneficial to start taking a DHA supplement. Curious about what to take? Reach out to a nutrition coach in the Vessel app for recommendations!
Antioxidants are just what their name implies- a substance (or part of food) that inhibits damaging oxidizing agents, a process that often leads to inflammation. They’re probably most famous for their role in preventing long-term disease, including heart disease and cancer. Cognitive decline has been show to delay by use of antioxidants. Recent research has found that a high consumption of antioxidant-containing foods was linked to a slower cognitive decline and improved memory.
As you may already know, most fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants! However, there are certain foods that contain antioxidants shown to be especially important to brain health and memory. These foods include nuts, grapes, berries, pomegranates, oranges, peppers, onion, rosemary, and chocolate. I dare you to choose one food off this list to include in your next meal and get a memory boost!
Eat more veggies! I’m sure you have heard this message before, but did you know that certain vegetables can improve your brain health and memory? Cruciferous vegetables in particular are high in Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in brain health. Vitamin K is essential to the formation of sphingolipids, which are an important component of brain cells. In fact, in several studies, Vitamin K supplementation was linked to better brain health and memory in older adults.
Not only do these veggies contain Vitamin K, they are also packed with memory-boosting antioxidants! To get these brain-boosting nutrients, try adding broccoli to a stir-fry, pairing your protein with roasted Brussels sprouts, or adding frozen kale to your morning smoothie.
Ever heard of the plant, Bacopa Monnieri? Most people haven’t! Natural medicine practitioners have used this tropical plant for centuries. The plant is touted for its role in improving memory and reducing anxiety, likely due to a compound called bacosides. Research has shown that Bacopa Monnieri consumption improved dendrite function in the brain, a part of nerve cells closely linked with memory. Researchers also found an improvement in age-related decline and learning in people who supplemented Bacopa Monnieri daily!
To get the memory-enhancing benefits of this plant, take 300-600mg per day as a capsule, powder, and even added to hot water to make a tea. Supplementation with Bacopa Monnieri will improve several other measures of health, including blood pressure, inflammation, and anxiety levels!
Coffee and Tea
Do you wake up with a cup of tea each morning, or perhaps end each day with a warm cup? You may be boosting your memory and protecting your brain health without even realizing it! Tea consumption has been found to improve overall cognitive function, including memory; in adults. In particular, daily consumption of green, oolong, and black tea were associated with better memory.
While the reputation of coffee changes constantly, researchers have found that daily consumption of coffee can also improve memory and overall brain health. In fact, some studies have shown a decreased risk of dementia with coffee consumption of 3-5 cups per day. You really can’t go wrong whether you are drinking coffee or tea- boost your memory with a warm cup of coffee or tea in the morning!
Have you heard of this herb before? Ginseng encompasses 11 different varieties of a plant used in natural medicine. Its benefits include reducing cholesterol, helping with blood sugar balance, reducing stress, and even boosting energy levels. Additionally, researchers have also found that Ginseng may play a role in brain health. Supplementation with Ginseng may improve learning and memory and reduce Alzheimer’s risk significantly. Want the memory-boosting effects of Ginseng? You can take it as a supplement, powder, tea, or dried herb form!
Ginkgo Biloba is an herb that has been around for centuries as a part of traditional Chinese medicine. This herb has improved everything from the common cold to diarrhea, and even circulatory problems. But the best news for people looking to remember better? Ginkgo Biloba supplementation may improve memory in healthy people, as well as people suffering from dementia. Some research has even found that Ginkgo Biloba may improve overall brain health and the speed at which you are able to think cognitively. Boost your memory by supplementing with this powerhouse herb!
You Can Do It
Boost your memory and overall brain function by trying one (or more) of these brain-boosting foods and supplements. And, if you want to better understand your brain health and get more personalized recommendations, try connecting with a nutritional coach here at Vessel!
Our challenge this week is to try one new food/supplement from the list above to start improving your memory. Which one will you try?
Sydney McAvoy See all the author’s articles