Brain food: Eat to improve your memory

Caroline Cassidy

Have you ever entered a room, only to forget what you went in for? Memory loss is a natural part of ageing, but there are things you can do to help, like playing crosswords to keep your brain active and eating the right kinds of food.

Eggs - food to improve your memory
Eggs - food to improve your memory

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So what should you put in your shopping basket? Blueberries, spinach, apples, oily fish, eggs and tumeric! Read on to find out why...

Studies have shown that eating blueberries, or drinking blueberry juice, every day dramatically slows memory loss associated with ageing. The superfood's magic ingredient is polyphenols, which help 'turn on' the signals that let neurons communicate more effectively with each other.

Loved by Popeye the sailorman, spinach has been proven to help protect the brain and preserve memory thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. It's also one of the few foods to contain alpha lipoic acid, a powerful brain-protecting antioxidant.

An apple a day doesn't just keep the doctor away. Eating a couple of apples a day could also help keep memory loss at bay. Experts say that apples have just the right dose of antioxidants to raise levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that's essential to memory and tends to decline with age.

Researchers interested to find out why rates of Alzheimer's disease are so low in India think they've found the answer - tumeric. The super spice, which is eaten by most of the population in India, contains a compound called curcuma that helps prevent mental decline.

Oily fish
Studies show that consuming oily fish twice a week, such as salmon and sardines, will improve brain function and help reduce memory loss.

Need another good reason to go to work on an egg? Egg yolks are one of nature's richest sources of choline, a B vitamin that is one of the most important nutrients for memory, learning and thinking. So get cracking!

Ginkgo Biloba
There are many supplements which claim to help improve memory, but ginkgo biloba is probably the most widely taken. Experts remain divided as to how much difference it can make, but there are studies to show it reduces the progress of dementia or the severity of its symptoms, as well as slightly improving memory and brain functioning.

Always check with you doctor before you start taking the supplement as it can come with side effects, such as reducing the ability of your blood to clot, which could be a problem if you take aspirin or a blood thinner.