If you feel forgetful, it could be due to a lack of sleep or a number of other reasons, including genetics, level of physical activity and lifestyle and environmental factors. However, there's no doubt that diet also plays a role in brain health.
The best menu for supporting memory and brain function encourages good blood flow to the brain — much like what you'd eat to nourish and protect your heart.
Research is finding the low carb Mediterranean Diet may help keep aging brains sharp, and a growing body of evidence links foods such as those in the low carb Mediterranean diet with better cognitive function, memory and alertness.
Strengthen Brain Function by Adding These Foods to the Rotation
Take Coconut Oil regularly.
Coconut oil offers unique benefits for brain health and function, including the potential to treat neurological disorders. The versatile coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is so important that in some cultures it’s called the “tree of life.” People who traditionally consume coconut as a major part of their diet are generally very healthy and have low incidences of stroke and heart disease.
Coconut oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are perfect source of energy for the brain. Besides coconut oil, there are few natural sources of MCTs, namely meat, cream, milk, palm oil, and full-fat dairy products.
Coconut oil does contain cholesterol. But don’t worry; this is a good thing because cholesterol is important for mental health. Your brain has a greater amount of cholesterol content than any other organ and it specifically needs cholesterol.
Counter intuitively, seniors with high cholesterol have a 70% reduced risk of dementia.
Take 3 table spoons daily (400 cal).
More reading material on this subject.
Eat your veggies.
Getting adequate vegetables, especially cruciferous ones including broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, may help improve memory.
Enjoy a kale salad or substitute collard greens for a low-carb tortilla in your sandwich wrap.
Broccoli stir-fry also is an excellent option for lunch or dinner.
Avoid spinach. See here why!
Be sweet on berries and cherries.
Berries — especially dark ones such as blackberries and blueberries, as wells as cherries — are a source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may support memory function. Enjoy a handful of berries or pitted cherries for a snack, mixed into into an antioxidant-rich keto dessert. You can reap these benefits from fresh, frozen or dried berries and cherries.
Consume adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Essential for good brain health, omega-3 fatty acids, or DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in particular, may help improve memory.
Seafood, algae and fatty fish — including salmon, bluefin tuna, sardines and mackerel — are some of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA. Grill, bake or broil fish for ultimate flavor and nutrition. Try low-carb tortilla wrapped salmon tacos with red cabbage slaw, snack on sardines or enjoy seared tuna or mackerel on salad greens for dinner. If you don't eat fish, you can get DHA omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, seaweed or microalgae supplements.
You can also substitute fish for hormone and antibiotic free meats once or twice a week to get a healthy dose.
Read more: "Eat Right, Stay Smart"
Consume walnuts regularly.
Oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation have important roles in the aging process, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other brain disorders. Amyloid beta protein (Aβ) is the main component of amyloid plaques in the brains of people with AD. Several studies suggest that Aβ increases the generation of free radicals in neurons, which leads to oxidative damage and cell death. Aβ can also induce neuroinflammation by increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. Walnuts contain several components that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Well known for a positive impact on heart health, walnuts may also improve cognitive function. Animal and human studies from our and other groups suggest that supplementation with walnuts in the diet may improve cognition and reduce the risk and/or progression of MCI and AD, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and depression through increasing antioxidant defense, and decreasing neuro-inflammation.
Snack on a handful of walnuts to satisfy midday hunger, add them to a salad for crunch or mix them into a vegetable stir-fry for extra protein.
Read more on benefits of walnuts on brain.
Consume eggs regularly.
Eggs provide some of the highest quantities of choline of any food; an important micronutrient in your daily diet.
Until recently, the role of choline as part of a balanced diet had been largely overlooked. Choline is a nutrient that is made in the liver. However, as most people don't produce enough choline to meet daily requirements, it also needs to be provided through the food that we eat. Choline is essential for normal human health and due to its similarity in function to the B vitamins, it is commonly grouped together with them.
Research suggests that choline plays an important role in brain health, and helps prevent cognitive decline in the elderly.
Read more on benefits of eggs on brain.
And read about how Comfort Keto meals benefit your brain here:
For more information on nutrition and brain health, we recommend Dr. David Perlmutter, MD's book:
While there's no guarantee that these foods will help you remember where you put your keys tomorrow, over time they will support lifelong good health.