We all want a good memory, whether we’re studying for a test, preparing for an important presentation, or adjusting to the stages of life. If you’re looking to improve your memory, brain-healthy foods are a great option! A healthy diet is an important step in improving brain health. MercyOne registered dietitian Stephanie Small has recommendations on what you can add to her diet for stronger memory and better brain health.
What foods are good for my memory and how do I eat them?
you can add some different foods to your diet to improve your memory. Be sure to incorporate a variety to create well-balanced meals.
- Green vegetables They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Obviously you can incorporate vegetables into your salads, but there are other meals if you don’t want a salad! Foods like grated zucchini can be incorporated into meatballs, chili, or even homemade muffins.
- Fish It is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is essential for brain and heart health. Some of the best fish are salmon, sardines, and tuna.
- berries they are a source of fiber and antioxidants that support the memory function of the brain. Cherries, blackberries, and blueberries make a great snack when you’re hungry or a tasty dessert. If you want to create a special treat, add some whipped cream on top!
- walnuts they are a healthy source of fats and Omega-3. They are well known for being heart healthy, but can also help with cognitive function! Small said, “A handful of plain nuts or trail mix is a snack for me.”
- Cumin contains antioxidants and enhances the flavors of some of your daily meals! You can add cumin to tacos, chili, and more.
- Eggs They are a nutrient-dense source of protein. Add eggs to your breakfast or as a tasty topping on a burger. “I just enjoy a scrambled egg or a scrambled egg with yellow cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and green bell pepper,” Small said.
What foods could damage my brain?
Foods with low nutritional value can influence your mood and memory. A brain-healthy diet avoids foods that are high in sugar and low in nutritional benefits. Highly processed foods and sugary drinks should be kept as occasional treats. The main part of your diet should be the foods mentioned above. Foods that should be kept to a minimum include:
- Energy drinks
- Packaged dessert items (such as Twinkies)
- sugary coffees
- fast food meals
- Drinks without alcohol
What to eat the morning of a test or presentation?
Breakfast before an exam or presentation can be crucial to test success. “A well-balanced meal can be just the fuel you need to stay focused,” Small said.
USDA’s MyPlate provides an excellent guide to planning the well-balanced meal you need. Suggest servings of vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. review the My plate website for more information.