There are a number of steps you can take to increase brain fitness and improve short-term memory, but a highly effective remedy can be easily found on a plate. If you’re feeling forgetful, eat more of these foods proven to boost memory and increase brain power.
Your mom always said that fish was brain food, and she wasn’t wrong. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel are loaded with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can strengthen synapses in your brain and hasten communication between cells. As a bonus, studies have shown that the nutrients in salmon can improve focus and retention of information.
Capers contain high levels of quercetin, a chemical also found in green tea, which stimulates memory by improving blood flow to the brain.
Whole grains will keep your brain energized and healthy; the slow-acting glucose provides a steady energy source throughout the day. In addition, whole grains are loaded with choline, an essential nutrient which can sharpen your attention span and improve short-term memory.
Get a recipe for Michael Smith’s Whole Grain Focaccia
Your junior-high teachers may have forced you to spit out your gum before class, but they weren’t wise to the notion that chewing gum can actually improve short-term memory. While earlier research found that chewing gum impaired memory, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Psychology found the exact opposite effect occurred, finding that participants’ focus and short-term memory sharpened while chewing. Why? Chewing gum increases oxygen flow to those parts of the brain that make us pay attention.
In addition to broccoli’s many health benefits and disease-fighting properties, the cruciferous vegetable is also good for the brain. That’s because broccoli is a great source of two memory-boosting nutrients: vitamin K and folic acid. In fact, studies have show that people who eat broccoli regularly performed better at memory tests.
Not only is chocolate a proven mood-booster, the cocoa in dark chocolate can also improve blood flow to the brain, thus improving memory retention.
Get a recipe for Oaxacan Chocolate Pudding
Egg yolks are chock full of choline (an essential nutrient that plays a major role in cell signalling) and phosphatidylserine, which has been found to improve cognitive function and boost short-term memory.
Get a recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice with a Sesame Fried Egg
As early as the 16th century, sage was prescribed as a way to improve memory and cognitive functioning. Sage oil contains an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase that sparks neurotransmitters in the brain. Alas, sprinkling some sage on a Thanksgiving turkey won’t provide much of a memory boost — a better effect will come from taking a sage oil supplement.
Get a recipe for Anna Olson’s Autumn Lasagna with Chicken, Squash and Sage
They might not be as popular as sunflower seeds, but pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) are definitely worth snacking on. Just an ounce of these seeds contains 18 per cent of your recommended daily intake of heart-healthy magnesium.