A heart healthy diet: Good brain function requires a steady and continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients delivered by blood that is pumped by the heart. To protect your heart and memory, eat a low fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, and be regularly active.
Omega 3 fatty acids: A study conducted under the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, found that participants who consumed fish at least once a week experienced a 10 percent slower decline in memory relative to those ate no fish. This improvement might be linked to the brain. It is mostly composed of a form of omega-3 fatty acid (DHA) also found in fish.
Water: Our brain is about 75% water, so it is obvious that a slight dehydration can affect our cognitive function. Stay well-hydrated and drink at least 10 glasses of water a day.
Folic acid: A 3-year study conducted under Tufts University in Boston, revealed that participants who had high blood levels of homocysteine had a decline in memory, but those who consumed a diet high in folic acid (this reduces homocyteine levels) had protected memory. Foods high in folic acid include fortified cereals, whole grains, dahl, liver, and dark leafy greens.
Breakfast: A study under the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences showed that children who ate breakfast with iron -rich food (meat, beans) and carbohydrates (bread, cereal) had better memory scores. Also, eating a breakfast with B-12 rich foods (eggs, dairy, meat) was correlated with the better average school grades.
Curcumin: Curcumin, a spice, known for its anti-inflammatory effects, may prevent memory loss. A study conducted under the Alzheimer’s Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed that curcumin helped reduce memory deficit in the animals having Alzheimer’s and brain damage.
Plant foods: One 25-year Harvard Medical School study revealed that the participants who consumed relatively large amounts of vegetables over the years had slower decline in age-related memory-loss. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, C and beta-carotene, found in fruits and vegetables have also shown to protect memory by preventing oxidative stress.
Nada Jawahery is the Registered Dietician at Royal Bahrain Hospital and is a member of, and licensed by, the American Dietetics Association. For more information call 17246832 or email: Nada.Jawahery@royalbhrn.com