10 Foods That Boost Memory
Last updated on February 9, 2008
Here are ten foods that may improve your memory, if you can remember to eat them. You might notice that many of the foods on this list are red or purple in color. That’s because the phytochemical that colors them, anthocyanin, is the same phytochemical that’s good for your brain.
Blueberries have been shown in numerous studies to do wonderful things for memory and the brain in general. Old rats that were fed blueberries scored the same as young rats on memory tests. Blueberries contain anthocyanin, a known memory-boosting phytochemical. They also contain many other phytochemicals that may contribute to healthy brain function.
Apples contain high levels of quercetin, an antioxidant that has been shown in recent studies to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Although it is also present in the flesh, the most quercetin is found in the skin. Red apples also contain anthocyanin in their skins.
One study found that feeding rats spinach prevented and even reversed memory loss. This may be due in part to its high folic acid content, a nutrient that is believed to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss. Just a half-cup of cooked spinach provides two-thirds your daily requirement of folic acid.
Red onions contain anthocyanin and quercetin. Yellow and white onions also contain good levels of quercetin. In India, where onions are an important staple, onions have been used as a folk remedy to boost memory for centuries.
Broccoli contains quercetin. It’s also a good source of folic acid.
Beets are a good source of anthocyanin and folic acid.
Red, purple, and black grapes all contain quercetin and anthocyanin. Red wine also contains good levels of these phytochemicals, but overindulging in red wine may negate the benefits so keeping consumption to one glass per day may be wise.
Another red food that is a good source of anthocyanin.
Eggplant is a great source of anthocyanin. It also contains nasunin, an antioxidant that protects the lipids in brain cell membranes.
Researchers have found that the carnosic acid in rosemary is neuroprotective and may play a role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative brain disorders. One study even found that just the scent of rosemary improved the memories of office workers.