If you find yourself trapped in brain fog, unable to focus on the tasks at hand or constantly forgetting simple things, your diet — not age — may be to blame.
“Foods that improve cognitive function include omega-3 fatty acids, medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut and palm oils, and vitamin D,” Shena Jaramillo, R.D., a registered dietitian and founder of Peace & Nutrition told Eat This, Not That!.
Jaramillo added that balancing your meals evenly throughout the day can also help prevent age-related memory loss.
Here are the some of the best brain-boosting foods:
- Salmon. Experts say that fatty fish like salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that lower the levels of amyloid plaque associated with aging brains. Consume fish at least twice weekly but try to find varieties that are low in mercury, such as Chilean salmon.
- Berries. Berries are high in antioxidants that protect the brain from free radical damage. Eating colorful berries can also slow brain aging, according to Eat This, Not That!
- Olive oil. According to theMayo Clinic, olive oil is rich in unsaturated fat that can help reduce LDL levels that can cause plaque buildup in the arteries leading to your brain.
- Nuts. Walnuts are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids which improve memory and boost brain power. No wonder these nuts resemble the human brain!
- Dark chocolate. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that when healthy adults consume flavanol-rich cacao either in powder form or in dark chocolate — 70% is best — their brain receives increased oxygenation, according to anarticleby Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen. Participants in the study had three times more oxygen delivered to their brain than those who consumed low-flavanol cacao.
- Whole grains. Brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, and whole-grain pasta contain vitamin E which protects brain cells from oxidative stress, according toMedical News Today.
- Coffee. Drinking coffee helps improve mental focus and increase brain power according to a 2018 study published by the National Institutes of Health.
- Avocados. As if we needed another reason to love these tasty fruits, experts say that they are rich in monounsaturated fats and may reduce high blood pressure, lowering the risk of cognitive decline.
- MCT oil. Medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oils may be able to improve short-term memory, improve attention, and learning ability, according to Eat This, Not That!
- Eggs. Eggs are rich in choline which assists in nerve cell transmission, says registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin, M.S.,R.D., who added that choline boosts memory and can increase attention and focus.
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