Monday, February 2, 2009

What Foods Help Your Memory?

A friend of mine recently asked me if I knew what foods helped boost memory function. Since I did not know off hand I decided to do some research on my own. It was no shock to me that most of the foods I found were foods found naturally, in nature.

Here are some of the foods I found and a short reason of why they are good for memory and healthy brain function:

Blueberries/Cherries/Purple Grapes: Dark fruits and berries contain anthocyanin, a known memory-boosting phytochemical.

Red Apples: Apples contain high levels of quercetin, an antioxidant that has been shown in recent studies to protect against Alzheimer's disease.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables like Spinach & Kale: They are high in folic acid, a nutrient that is believed to be protective against Alzheimer's disease and age-related memory loss.

Onions: Red onions contain anthocyanin and quercetin. Yellow and white onions also contain good levels of quercetin.

Broccoli: Broccoli contains quercetin.

Other ways I found to help boost memory function**:

1. Keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check. A healthy heart makes for a healthy brain.

2. Get enough sleep. Research shows that sleep deprivation can interfere with memory.

3. Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity has been shown to decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by about half. Half! Aim for 30 minutes a day.

4. Challenge your brain. Keep your mind active and challenged.

5. Don’t smoke. Just as smoking increases risk of heart disease, it can also decrease blood flow to the brain and cause serious damage.

6. Give yourself a break. Seek out ways to de-stress your life.

**This list I found on the TODAY show website**

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