Want to improve your memory and learn faster? Why not draw some mental stamina from these healthy foods:
Eggs. Eggs are rich in choline, an important nutrient for memory. Studies show that deficiency in choline may contribute to age-related mental decline. Your body can't make choline, so you must get it from food or supplements, and most of us don't get enough. A recent government survey showed that only 2 percent of post-menopausal American women and less than 10 percent of the general U.S. population consume the recommended amount of choline. One hard-boiled egg contains about 20 percent of your daily choline needs.
Leafy Greens. Spinach and other dark, leafy greens like chard, kale and collard greens are rich in folic acid which is essential for the metabolism of the long chain fatty acids in your brain.
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Berries. The plant chemical called anthocyanin, which give berries their distinctive rich color, can protect the brain against a range of conditions. In one study, subjects who ate the most blueberries lowered their risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) by 10 percent. High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, and reduced blood flow from hypertension can contribute to dementia and cognitive impairment. Another study showed that people who eat strawberries improve their memory and motor skills. In addition, berries are high in antioxidants which protect your brain from free radicals.
Salmon. Salmon is packed with DHA, one of the types of omega-3 fatty acids essential for healthy brain function. Researchers at Tufts University found that people with the highest blood levels of DHA cut their risk of developing dementia in half.
Dark Chocolate. Eating small amounts of dark chocolate each week reduced the risk of stroke by 22 percent in one recent study. Dark chocolate sharpens concentration and reaction time (it's a natural stimulant) and its powerful antioxidant properties increase the production of feel-good endorphins. To maximize the benefit of this delicious treat while minimizing the effects of sugar and fat, eat 1 to 2 ounces of dark chocolate with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving 4 times per week.