If you've ever misplaced your keys or forgotten why you walked into a room, there's no reason to be concerned. However, you should give serious thought to protecting your cognitive function with the right diet. Certain foods can help protect brain health, improve your memory and concentration levels and reduce your risk of degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
Vitamin B-12 Boosts Brain Health
Julie Schneider M.D., a neurologist at Rush University Medical Center advises that a deficiency in vitamin B-12 can cause memory issues, in some cases. Protect brain health, and boost your memory and concentration with foods that are rich in this vitamin. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that you must get at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. Foods that contain this water-soluble nutrient include organ meats, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy and fortified breakfast cereals.
Vitamin E Protects Memory
If you are trying to boost your memory and concentration, Schneider also recommends adding more vitamin E to your daily diet. This nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect nerve cells in the brain. You should get 15 milligrams of vitamin E per day from foods such as vegetable oils, almonds, peanuts, spinach, carrots and avocados.
Healthy Fats for Nerve Health
It is important to remember that healthy fats have an important role in protecting your brain function, according to Schneider. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that play a key role in heart, joint and brain health. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends adding foods to your diet that are high in this healthy fat such as vegetable oils, fish, walnuts and other nuts, flax seeds and green, leafy vegetables.
Berries Are Rich in Antioxidants
A study presented at a 2010 meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston reported that eating berries may help prevent age-related memory loss and mental decline. Strawberries, blueberries and acai berries may help remove toxic proteins that accumulate and damage nerves in the brain. If left unchecked, these toxins can lead to degenerative brain diseases over time.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B12
- Health.com: 9 Foods That May Help Save Your Memory
- Rush University Medical Center: Memory Loss - Should I Be Concerned?
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin E
- Harvard School of Public Health: Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution
- ACS: Eating Berries May Activate the Brain’s Natural Housekeeper For Healthy Aging