Memory and Nutrition

by Karen Brooks on May 9, 2009

Each day we use our mind to help remember what we have to do for the minute we get up to the moment we go to sleep. We make lists to help us remember what to get at the store, we write important dates and appointments on calendars and we may even keep journals of the things we did in the past to help us remember important events in our lives.

Our memory is so important; it helps us to remember our special days, friends, loved ones and events. As we get older, we may start to forget certain things and have to write more things down. It is important for people to get the right nutrition for not only a strong body but a strong and healthy mind and memory as well.

Jean Mayer from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University in Boston has been studying what antioxidants may be able to do for memory. Studies have shown that free radicals may be associated with poor brain function and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Some studies done found that spinach may help protect long term memory and learning ability. Other foods that may do this include: strawberries, blueberries, plums, oranges and Vitamin E. Another study found that when people eat twice the number of fruits and vegetables (five to ten a day) this helped to increase the antioxidant value in their blood plasma. This could potentially help the mental capacity of adults.

Tips and Techniques for Memory Enhancement, Vitamins B and B6 and B12 as well as folic acid can protect neurons by breaking down homocysteine an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells. They also help in making the red blood cells which carry oxygen. Foods with these vitamins include: spinach, dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries, melons, black beans, legumes, and citrus fruit and soy beans.

Antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E as well as beta carotene fight free radicals which may damage cells. Antioxidants also help improve the blood flow to the brain and body. Foods that contain these antioxidants include: blueberries and other kinds of berries, sweet potatoes, red tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, green tea, nuts and seeds, citrus fruit and liver. Omega 3 fatty acids are associated with cognitive function. They are considered “healthy fats” and can be found in foods such as: salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, mackerel, walnuts, walnut oil, flaxseed and flaxseed oil.

It is important that we not only eat right for our bodies but for our mind too. We want to be able to keep remember all those important dates and times. We want to remember our loved ones and all the events that are important them and to us. If we do our very best to eat healthy and exercise daily, our bodies and minds will thank us for a long time into the future.
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