We’ve all had that incredibly annoying and stressful moment when you need to get out of the door right away, but you can’t find your keys anywhere.
I just saw them! you think angrily to yourself. How could I have already forgotten where I put them?!
Many just write that off as a minor annoyance—after all, everyone forgets stuff sometimes. However, memory is an important factor of our health that cannot be overlooked, especially as we age.
That being said, don’t feel like you have to do mind puzzles and that weird “brain-training” thing to keep your memory intact. In fact, you can just tweak your diet a bit to include 6 foods and drinks that improve your memory.
Ways to Increase Your Focus
1. Blueberries and Strawberries
If you want to improve your memory, blueberries and strawberries are a “berry” good choice! Teehee!
Um, anyway, all bad puns aside, keep these berries in your kitchen. According to one study, higher intakes of blueberries and strawberries may be linked to stronger cognitive function. It’s thought that this is due to the high amount of flavonoids in berries, so try adding them to your breakfast cereal or having a few for dessert.
Related: 37 Superfoods to Start Eating Today
Keep on eating that seafood. Fishes like salmon that are high in fish oil may help strengthen your brain.
In a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers studied rats that had a high fish oil intake in contrast with rats that had a low fish oil intake. Rats who consumed more fish oil had significantly higher memory performances, suggesting that more oily fish like salmon can strengthen the memory and cognition processes.
3. Nuts and seeds
Try eating a handful of almonds or sunflower seeds every day to keep your brain sharp.
A study conducted by scientists at Tokyo Medical and Dental University found that mice with a human neurodegenerative disease were practically cured with Vitamin E. Nuts and seeds are very high in vitamin E, so research suggests that nuts and seeds are great “brain food.”
If coffee is your life force, you’re in luck. Coffee can help improve your memory. Really, anything caffeinated can, according to one study. The study, conducted on rats, found that caffeine may improve your memory retention. Have a cup of coffee in the morning to keep your brain razor-sharp! (Just remember not to add too much cream and sugar.)
Take a leaf from Pop-eye’s book and eat your spinach.
According to a study published in NCBI, spinach may not only help your memory but actually reverse the course of aging in your brain. If you’re not a fan of cooked spinach, try eating your salads with baby spinach instead of iceberg lettuce. Eat those leafy greens so you can remember where in the world you put your keys!
We all know it’s important to drink water, but dehydration can actually shrink brain tissue and affect cognitive performance, including memory. According to one study, keeping yourself hydrated may help improve your memory and keep you sharp, so make sure to keep a water bottle with you at all times if you want to stay alert!
If you’re concerned about keeping your brain in shape (which you should be!), you can improve your memory just by adding some foods into your diet. You can improve your memory by eating blueberries, strawberries, salmon, nuts, seeds, and spinach—and you can even drink more coffee and water for an added boost. You’ll stay sharp as a tack for the rest of your years!
Photo by Tsahi Levent-Levi
Originally published 1/2014 and updated 11/2014.