Can’t remember what you had for dinner two nights ago? Having trouble forgetting that new coworker’s name? Do you know the name of your favorite restaurant when you were on vacation last summer? Many people deal with short-term memory loss or fuzzy memories. Memory loss is due highly to inflammation in the neurological areas and blood flow throughout the body. Medications, stress, injury, lack of sleep, and use of drugs and alcohol all play a role in reduced brain function. The Mediterranean diet is a widely popular lifestyle that has gained much praise in its effectiveness of lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, decreasing weight, and increasing brain function. Here are four foods, consumed daily by those living the Mediterranean lifestyle and why they’re so good for your body and your mind.
4 Brain-Boosting Foods
Coffee – Research in Austria has found that the caffeine in coffee has shown a positive effect on memory and reaction time. The caffeine and antioxidant effects in the coffee bean promote neuron signals in the brain fire quicker when two cups of coffee have been consumed compared to one who has no caffeine in their system. Remember though, go easy on those fattening and sugar-loaded drinks from your favorite coffee shop!
Berries – Berries contain anti-oxidative chemicals called anthocyanins and flavonoids which have a memory boosting effect. Research has shown that consuming one cup of your favorite blackberries/raspberries/blueberries/strawberries per week has a positive effect on memory delay. Add some berries to your morning oatmeal, smoothie, or as a side dish. You can even throw some whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings on them for a little after dinner dessert!
Leafy Greens – Bright, hearty leafy greens have many nutritious benefits from being fiber-rich to creating complete protein based meals. Due to the phytochemicals within foods such as kale, swiss chard, collard greens, and spinach, these foods have been shown to increase brain function and lower blood pressure and inflammation. Raw kale salads topped with your favorite accompaniments or collard greens sautéed with a little olive oil can really promote memory function. Have a side of leafy greens next to your deliciously prepared salmon for a nutrient-rich, memory boosting dinner!
Nuts – Walnuts and almonds are a delicious snack and due to their levels of unsaturated fats can really boost your memory. The anti-inflammatory effects of the unsaturated fats lower cholesterol and are heart healthy! A handful of nuts as a mid-day snack can keep you satisfied and help you get through the day.
Consuming the nutrients in these foods can enhance brain fuel plus function and in some cases can reverse memory loss due to aging, not to mention keep you on track for that goal-weight and healthy heart!