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Foods That Help Improve Memory and Concentration

author image Nadia Haris
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.
Foods That Help Improve Memory and Concentration
Vegetables oils such as canola and olive oil are high in vitamin E for better brain health. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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.

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Vitamin B-12 Boosts Brain Health

Basket of brown eggs
Basket of brown eggs Photo Credit: Tharakorn/iStock/Getty Images

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

Handful of almonds
Handful of almonds Photo Credit: Katie Nesling/iStock/Getty Images

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

Fresh salmon with herbs
Fresh salmon with herbs Photo Credit: anna liebiedieva/iStock/Getty Images

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

Bowl filled with blueberries
Bowl filled with blueberries Photo Credit: CGissemann/iStock/Getty Images

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.

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