Memory is crucial to success. In today’s technology era, we are constantly stimulated with information and overloaded with details concerning a new product or a project with a deadline. We are constantly managing our lives with blackberries, iphones, computers, planners and the classic post-it “note-to-self.” In order to keep track of everything in our lives and to perform our best, we must take care of ourselves on a macro and micro level. Nutrition plays an integral role in mental acuity.
It really annoys me when people use the term “superfood” to refer only to foods that are exotic, hard to find and only grow in one part of the world, like maca, goji berries or cacao. There is an abundance of “superfoods” everywhere, which I define as foods high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Superfoods have powerful healing qualities and should be a core staple of our daily diet. They do not have to come from across the world, and don’t let anyone’s fancy marketing make you think you need to buy all that expensive stuff to be healthy. Goji berries are great, but the best “superfoods” are locally sourced and familiar to you. For instance, I consider spinach a heck of a lot more important as a “superfood” than maca powder.
By including the following superfoods in your diet, you can improve your memory and ensure that your brain is functioning at full capacity.
Quinoa: Rich in folic acid, quinoa has been shown to quicken information dispensation and improve our memory. Quinoa is one of the best whole grains you can put into your body because it is a natural source of iron, zinc and protein. It is a complete protein because it contains all essential amino acids. It serves as an incredibly vitamin-packed fibrous side dish to any meal. Quinoa contains selenium and vitamin E that lowers your risk for diabetes and heart disease and may help control weight. It’s one of my favorite grains because it is easy to prepare and you can practically pair it with anything. If you ever feel a little brain-lagged, this is the perfect food to include in a meal with a big salad. Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate that will give you energy that lasts when your brain needs fuel to perform at its best. For more energizing snacks, check out my previous post.
Berries: Blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries have been shown to shield the brain from memory loss and contribute to enhanced memories in various studies. Diets rich in blueberries will actually improve learning capacity and lower stress. In fact, blueberries are among the best source of antioxidants that you can easily purchase and incorporate into your diet. Berries are high in water and fiber that regulates your blood sugar while cutting your sugar cravings. This super food is loaded with phytonutrients, a natural bioactive compound that works with minerals and vitamins to ensure mental and physical health.
Omega-3 Rich Foods: Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for your body, but in particular for your brain health. Studies show that foods rich in Omega-3 lowers the cell inflammation that causes loss of memory. I wish I could wholeheartedly recommend fish to those that want to eat some animal products, but the truth is that fish is one of the most toxic, polluted foods out there right now. Fish live in the toxic water, and their bodies concentrate the mercury, PCBs and other toxins. Definitely don’t eat farm-raised fish or big fish like tuna or swordfish, but sadly, all fish is pretty toxic.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends strict limits of fish consumption for pregnant women. If a food can harm a developing fetus, why would you want to be put it into your body regularly even when you’re not pregnant?
If you don’t eat fish, the way I don’t, I recommend obtaining your omega-3’s from other foods such as pumpkin, chia and flaxseeds, walnuts, etc. Dark leafy greens like kale contain Omega-3′s as well.
Onions: Onions, and particularly red onions, have been used for centuries in India to improve memory. The key is in a naturally occurring flavonoid, fisetin, which facilitates long-term memory by stimulating certain pathways in the brain. Try eating some uncooked onions in your diet in guacamole or salads, because when you cook food above 118 degrees, you kill the natural enzymes that contribute to these miraculous body benefits.
Apples: The skin of apples is loaded with minerals and antioxidants that have demonstrated to defend from memory robbing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Quercetin is an excelled source of folic acid, and much more. Get your daily dosage of antioxidants and apples in your morning GGS!