Boost cognitive powers, enhance memory and protect against neurodegenerative diseases with these powerful brain-protecting foods.
Cocoa is high in flavanols, antioxidants that have been shown to help increase learning, improve memory and boost overall brain power. Some studies show the effect is greatly enhanced when combined with exercise. Other good sources of flavanols include tea and red wine.
Nutritional yeast is high in folate, a B vitamin linked with healthy fetal brain development and overall cognitive improvement; deficiencies can lead to neurological disorders such as depression, cognitive decline and dementia. Additionally, nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamins B6 and B12, which are both important for brain health and memory performance.
Turmeric contains curcumin, an antioxidant that may prevent the development and accumulation of plaque formations linked with Alzheimer’s. Studies show that curcumin can protect against cognitive decline and lessen impairment in traumatic brain injury, and it may even stimulate new brain cell production.
Spinach is high in lutein, an antioxidant that protects the brain from free radical damage and inflammation. People with mild cognitive impairment have been shown to have reduced lutein status, and boosting lutein levels has been shown to enhance learning and memory. Other good sources of lutein are kale, chard, collards and egg yolks.
Avocado is rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to slow cognitive decline in the elderly. It also contains monounsaturated fats, which help improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from foods such as spinach, kale and other leafy greens.
Celery contains luteolin, a flavonoid antioxidant that protects the brain from inflammation, cognitive aging and neurodegenerative diseases, and it can greatly enhance memory, learning and spatial awareness. Other sources include radicchio, peppers, parsley, artichokes, juniper berries and sage.
Rosemary is high in carnosic acid, a phytochemical that enhances learning and spatial memory, reduces oxidative stress and prevents neuron damage. Studies suggest it can protect against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Carnosic acid is also found in sage and in small amounts in other foods.
Herbs Bacopa & Sage
These are scientifically proven to enhance memory, and both may have Alzheimer’s-protective power.