Memory is precious, and as our loved ones reach old age, they may show signs of forgetfulness from cherished memories to how to complete daily tasks. This can be troubling, but there are easy ways to help elderly loved ones hang on to their ability to remember. Experts agree that puzzles and mental stimulation are useful tools in retaining strong memories, as is a diet rich in memory supporting foods. The following foods are good for brain memory and can help your loved one maintain a healthy brain as they get older.
Trout, salmon, and sardines are high on the list of the delicious foods that are great for brain memory. This is in part due to their high Omega-3 content. The brain uses Omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, thereby making these fats critical to learning and memory. They may also slow age-related mental decline, including the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. They may also increase gray matter in the brain, which is responsible for controlling decision making, memory, and emotion. A lack of Omega-3s has been linked to learning impairments and depression, so a sufficient amount of fish in one’s diet can be a strong indicator of health.
Though the benefits of coffee are constantly under debate among medical researchers today, the caffeine and antioxidants present in this delicious beverage have a number of positive effects on memory. Caffeine keeps the brain alert by blocking adenosine, which makes people sleepy, and it can also boost serotonin, which makes people feel happier. Moreover, coffee can improve concentration levels. Drinking coffee over a long period of time has also been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological diseases thanks to its high concentration of antioxidants. Consider offering your loved one a cup of coffee to start their day and reap the benefits of its many healthy compounds.
Blueberries are another source of antioxidants, which improve communication in the brain cells and prevent oxidative stress and inflammation. These distressing conditions may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases, and thus it is very important to guard against them as much as we can. Blueberries also contain anthocyanins, another anti-inflammatory element that promotes healthier brains. In studies, blueberries have been shown to improve memory and delay short-term memory loss. These fruits are easy to sprinkle on cereal and yogurt, use in a smoothie, or snack on throughout the day, making them a readily available, delicious, and convenient source of brain-boosting nutrients.
Turmeric, a deep yellow-colored spice, has become a popular addition to lattes, smoothies, and more in recent years. Often found in curry powder, it has numerous memory benefits. Curcumin, its active ingredient, can directly enter the brain and impact cells. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities and may be helpful in boosting memory and clearing amyloid plaques that are present in Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric can also improve one’s mood and encourage new brain cells to grow, which may in turn delay age-related mental decline in patients. This spice can be easily added to meals for a flavor and memory upgrade.
Broccoli is a food high in vitamin K, and it provides more than 100 percent of your recommended daily intake in just one cup of veggies. This vitamin is essential in producing sphingolipids, a type of fat densely packed into brain cells that can lead to better memory. Like most foods on this list, broccoli also contains a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that can improve brain health and protect against damage. A side of steamed or baked broccoli at dinner can be an excellent way to help your loved one improve their memory functions.
Pumpkin seeds are little memory powerhouses. They contain zinc, insufficient amounts of which can lead to neurological damage. And pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium, which is essential to learning and memory functions. Copper, which is used to control nerve signals and maintain good brain chemistry, is also present, while iron helps keep a sharp mind and high brain function. Pumpkin seeds can be added to baked goods for a nutritious breakfast or enjoyed as an easy snack in between meals.
For a memory-friendly dessert, reach for dark chocolate. The flavonoids in dark chocolate gather in areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory, enhancing memory and slowing down age-related memory decline. These antioxidant plant compounds have been shown to improve performance in mental tasks. As an added bonus, chocolate has also been shown to improve mood, though it is unclear as to what specifically causes the emotional boost. Pieces of dark chocolate make an easy and enjoyable dessert option after meals or as an afternoon pick me up.
Healthy hearts lead to healthy brains, and nuts are one way to ensure that both of these organs remain in top form. Nuts may help improve cognition and prevent neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in women. This is because nuts contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, which help shield the brain from free radical damage and slow mental decline. All nuts have been shown to benefit memory health, but walnuts are particularly beneficial because they also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Learn More About Memory Care
Speak with Comfort Home Care for more information about food for memory improvement and assistance in determining whether in-home care services would help you care for a family member with memory issues. Comfort Home Care’s geriatric nursing assistants and certified nursing assistants can provide help with activities of daily living, such as dressing and bathing, as well as light exercise, diet support, and transportation for your loved one. These services can help improve your loved one’s quality of life and allow them to retain their independence while giving you the support you need to balance their care and your daily responsibilities. Comfort Home Care provides free consultations, during which you can ask its trained staff questions about what in-home care services can do for your family’s unique situation.