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Supercharge Your Memory: 5 Foods That Help

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD
August 23, 2023
August 23, 2023

Are you tired of frequently misplacing your keys or struggling to recall important information? It can be frustrating when your memory seems to let you down. But guess what? Food can actually help! Not only does it nourish your body, but it also nourishes your mind. If you're looking to give your memory a boost, let me introduce you to five delicious foods that I incorporate into my daily diet, at least two to three times per week to support my brain health. Read on to learn how they help improve and why you should incorporate them into your diet.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are sometimes referred to as "brain berries" due to their remarkable benefits for cognitive function. Packed with antioxidants, these tiny fruits help protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation! Research suggests that consuming blueberries regularly can enhance signaling between brain cells, leading to improved memory and learning abilities.

How To Enjoy Blueberries:

  1. Brighten your morning routine by adding blueberries to your breakfast cereal or yogurt.
  2. Substitute unhealthy snacks with fresh blueberries and pair with nuts for satisfaction.
  3. Blend them into smoothies with bananas, spinach, and almond milk for a brain-boosting treat.
  4. Elevate your salad with blueberries. They complement nicely with fresh greens, nuts, and a light dressing.

2. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is a key building block of the brain and is known to support brain health and improve memory. It plays a vital role in the structure and function of brain cells. Studies have shown that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can improve memory performance and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Enjoy fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week to reap these memory-boosting benefits.

How To Savor Fatty Fish:

  1. Grill it, bake it, poach it, or pan-sear it! Explore different cooking methods to enjoy the flavors and textures of fatty fish.
  2. Experience the fresh and buttery taste by incorporating fatty fish into sushi rolls. Pair it with vibrant ingredients like sushi rice, vegetables, and nori for a delightful treat.
  3. Shake up your taco game! Fill soft tortillas with grilled or baked fatty fish. Add a zesty salsa, creamy avocado slices, and a sprinkle of cilantro for a festive and flavorful twist.
  1. Turmeric

Turmeric, a vibrant yellow spice commonly used in curries, contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to directly enter the brain and benefit cognitive function. Research suggests that curcumin can enhance memory and promote overall brain health by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that stimulates the growth of new neurons and improves their survival. Incorporate turmeric into your cooking or enjoy it as a warm, comforting cup of turmeric tea to harness its memory-enhancing potential.

How to Relish Turmeric:

  1. Heat up a cup of golden milk! Combine turmeric powder with warm milk, cinnamon, and honey, and savor all its benefits.
  2. Add turmeric to curry for a vibrant color and a warm, slightly bitter taste.
  3. Sprinkle turmeric powder on roasted veggies for a visually appealing and nutritious side dish.

4. Dark Chocolate

Who says indulging in chocolate is always a guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate, with a high cocoa content of 70% or more, contains flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants that can enhance memory and boost brain function. Flavonoids, in particular, are known to increase blood flow to the brain and stimulate the growth of blood vessels and neurons, leading to improved cognitive abilities. Additionally, the caffeine in dark chocolate can heighten alertness and concentration. However, moderation is key, as dark chocolate is still dense in calories. Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate as an occasional treat to give your memory a delicious boost.

How To Indulge Dark Chocolate:

  1. Enjoy rich dark chocolate on its own. Savor each bite for a guilt-free treat with potential cognitive benefits.
  2. Dip fruits such as strawberries and bananas into melted dark chocolate for a luscious and antioxidant-rich dessert.
  3. Pair dark chocolate with nuts for a satisfying and brain-boosting snack.
  4. Combine dark chocolate and coffee for a decadent mocha beverage.

5. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli are nutritional powerhouses that can help maintain a sharp memory. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support brain health. They also contain high levels of folate and vitamin K, which have been linked to heightened cognitive function. Folate helps in the production of neurotransmitters that regulate memory and mood. Meanwhile vitamin K is involved in the formation of sphingolipids, a type of fat found in brain cell membranes. Remember to include leafy greens in your salads, smoothies, or sauté them as a delicious side dish to boost your memory.

How To Enjoy Leafy Greens:

  1. Create vibrant salads and drizzle a mix of colorful veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and protein with a light vinaigrette dressing.
  2. Sauté leafy greens with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to up your veggie game.
  3. Blend spinach or kale with fruits, yogurt, and liquids like almond milk or water for a fulfilling smoothie.
  4. Use leafy greens as a nutritious alternative to tortillas or bread for low-carb wraps filled with chicken, veggies, or hummus.
  5. Add chopped leafy greens to homemade soups for added nutrition and flavor.


Supercharge your memory by incorporating these foods into your diet! Remember to stay physically active, get enough sleep, and engage in mental exercises (like puzzles, crosswords, and memory games) for enhanced cognitive function!

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