7 Foods That May Help Save Your Memory

Nov 12, 2012 -- 5:38pm

7 Foods That May Help Save Your Memory from health.com

Oil-Based Salad Dressing The data support eating foods that are high in vitamin E and this includes healthy vegetable oil-based salad dressings, seeds and nuts, peanut butter, and whole grains. The benefit has been seen with vitamin-E rich foods, but not supplements, she says. A potent antioxidant, vitamin E may help protect neurons or nerve cells. In Alzheimer’s disease, neurons in certain parts of the brain start to die, which jump-starts the cascade of events leading to cognitive deterioration.

Fish Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other fish are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). “In the brain, DHA seems to be very important for the normal functioning of neurons. Another plus: Eating more fish often means eating less red meat and other forms of protein that are high in artery-clogging saturated fats.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate. For example, one cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E, and 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach has 25% of your daily intake. Exactly how folate may protect the brain is unclear, but it may be by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain, but folic acid helps break down homocysteine levels.

Avocado This creamy treat is also a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E. Research by Morris and her colleague suggests that foods rich in vitamin E—including avocado, which is also high in the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C—are associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Sunflower Seeds Seeds, including sunflower seeds, are also good sources of vitamin E. One ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds contains 30% of your recommended daily intake. Sprinkle them on top of your salad to give your brain a boost.

Peanuts and Peanut Butter Although both are high in fat, peanuts and peanut butter tend to be a source of healthy fats. And they are also packed with vitamin E. Both foods may help keep the heart and brain healthy and functioning properly. Other good choices are almonds and hazelnuts.

Red Wine Studies have shown that people who consume moderate amounts of red wine and other types of alcohol may be at reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, but it may be that there is something else that tipplers do or don’t do that affects their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. People who drink alcohol or eat healthy may be healthier in other aspects of their life, so it is difficult to disentangle whether it’s the healthy diet that protects them versus other healthy behaviors.

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