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Brain Foods For Seniors To Boost Memory Health

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Updated March 3, 2022To keep your mind healthy and boost brain function as you age, eat plenty of healthy foods that contain antioxidants. The foods that help cognitive function include fruits (especially berries), dark chocolate, seeds and nuts, soybeans, kale and broccoli, healthy fats, whole grains, and oily fish.

As you may expect, food and a healthy diet plays a major role in brain health.

Although most diseases that affect the brain like Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured, seniors can adopt some precautionary measures to help boost their brain health.

Harvard Health Publishing posted an article about how foods with low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol can hurt our arteries, including those in our brain. This leads to the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, which could possibly be responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s.

The best diet most recommended for a healthy lifestyle is known as the Mediterranean diet. This diet focuses on eating more plant-based foods such as vegetables, leafy greens, legumes, certain seafoods, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains and minimizing meats such as chicken, pork and beef, processed foods, refined grains, butter and other dairy.

There are variations to this diet so please check out the extensive information about this diet here.

Higher adherence to a Mediterranean type of diet was linked to larger mediotemporal gray matter volume, better memory scores, and lower pathological levels of biomarkers for amyloid plaques and tau tangles, reported Tommaso Ballarini, PhD, of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, and co-authors.

It’s much better for older adults to consume polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, as these have more high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol. That’s the good kind, by the way.

What Foods Help Seniors With Their Memory?

It’s no secret that as we age, our cognitive function begins to decline. But luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to help improve our memory, including eating the right foods.

  • Avocados are a great example of a “brain food” – they are high in vitamin E, which is known to be a powerful antioxidant that can help protect neurons or nerve cells. It also helps to lower blood pressure and promote healthy blood flow throughout the body.
  • Green leafy vegetables are also a good choice, as they are packed with nutrients like Folate and vitamin B6 that are crucial for brain health.
  • Sunflower seeds are another great source of vitamin E, as well as magnesium, which is known to be beneficial for memory.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent choice for increasing the amount of monounsaturated fats which helps to improve memory and other cognitive functions. And it also helps to decrease the risk of heart disease.
  • Blueberries are a particularly good choice, as they are high in antioxidants and have been shown to improve memory function.
  • Salmon is a fatty fish that is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in brain health.

Researchers from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University have found that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) could help boost brain power and halt the progression of the effects of aging on the brain.

Here are some of the best foods and dietary suggestions to follow:

Eat Fruits For Brain Power

The following fruits contain plenty of antioxidants, which can lessen the brain’s inflammation and stress, which in turn may improve cognitive health and help to prevent seniors from getting Alzheimer’s and other issues causing memory loss.

These fruits are:

  • Mulberries – the health benefits of mulberries are that they are very rich in vitamin C.
  • Blackcurrants – these berries are full of vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Blueberries – a great source of antioxidants and flavonoids. In addition they battle free radicals that can cause chronic illnesses.
  • Blackberries – can help to fight off diabetes and some cancers. They’re packed with fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.
  • Strawberries – so many health benefits in these berries. They help to increase HDL, lower blood pressure and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Avocados (yes, they’re a fruit) – a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, K, E and B6 amongst so much more.

Brain Boosting Foods For Seniors

Don’t stop with just eating the above fruits! The following edible eats contain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that could heal damaged brain cells and even create new ones.

…healthy foods affect cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular risk factors, which are important mechanisms for reducing the risk of memory loss in seniors.

Here are the mind sharp foods to incorporate into a senior’s healthy diet for a healthy brain and more.

  • Soybeans and other soy-based foods: Soy has polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that keeps up our cognition and may help seniors avoid dementia.
  • Kale: The glucosinolates in kale boasts minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Plus, Kale also provides omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K which can be very beneficial for older adults.
  • Broccoli: Another great veggie for seniors is broccoli. It too has glucosinolates. Besides that, its antioxidant content is high, its isothiocyanates could control oxidative stress, and it’s low in calories. Overall it’s an excellent vegetable for boosting your immune system.
  • Eggs: Although eggs have gotten a bad rap in recent years, they can be healthy. It’s possible that the folic acid, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6 in eggs could slow down how long it takes for a brain to fall into decline. They also keep the brain from shrinking. Egg yolks are also linked to a lower risk of dementia because of the high amounts of choline in them.
  • Peanuts: Mulberries and peanuts alike contain an antioxidant called resveratrol. This could keep diseases and conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer at bay.
  • Coffee: Coffee may also help the brain. It turns out that adenosine, a type of brain substance that causes fatigue, can’t work as well with caffeine coursing through our veins. There’s also a potential positive link between coffee and our ability to process data.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains can lead to both a healthier body and brain. These foods contain a lot of vitamin E, which could prevent Alzheimer’s and keep the brain’s cognition on track.
  • Seeds: Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seeds are some of the best sources of plant based proteins and Omega-3 fatty acides.
  • Nuts: Walnuts top the list for nuts that contribute to brain health. In fact, a 2019 study from the University of South Australia showed that eating 2 teaspoons of nuts a day may help to keep dementia at bay. (
  • Dark chocolate: Yes, that’s right, dark chocolate can be good for brain health! The cacao in this type of chocolate is rich in flavonoids. These antioxidants keep blood moving throughout the brain. It’s also believed that the brain gets more blood vessels and neurons with enough cacao flavonoids, specifically in brain areas involved in learning and memory.
  • Oily fish: Oily fish such as sardines, herring, tuna, mackerel, and salmon have plenty of omega-3s like docosahexaenoic acid. Through consuming these fatty acids, one may be able to enjoy improved cognition as the brain receives more blood.

You also want to add the incredible benefits of healthy fats such as Olive oil – especially extra virgin Olive oil.

Olive oil. This incredibly versatile oil is high in “good fats” that can help slow down brain aging. It’s great for cooking and can be used in just about any dish. Sub it for other fats, and your taste buds will barely notice the difference (but your body will certainly reap the benefits).

What Is The Best Vitamin For Memory?

Sometimes seniors can’t eat the foods we mentioned in the prior section. This can be due to a variety of reasons.

For example, maybe the person can’t chew some of them. Maybe they are allergic some of these foods. Maybe they plain don’t like some of them. In these cases, it can help to take a memory-boosting supplement.

Although there is no one “best” vitamin for memory, there are several a senior could try. These include B vitamins, C vitamins, and E vitamins.

They could also try supplements that contain ginseng, magnesium, or beta-carotene. The latter two can erase deficiencies while ginseng could aide brain performance.

*NOTE: some supplements can interfere with medications, so it is best to clear any memory boosting supplements with the senior’s doctor before taking them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 worst foods for memory?

The five worst foods for brain health are margarine and fried foods, alcohol and sugary drinks/sodas, artificial sweeteners, doughnuts, and white rice and white breads. You can read more about these and other awful-for-you foods at WebMD.

What drinks help thinking?

According to experts, water, green tea, red wine, cocoa, and coffee can help thinking by improving concentration and focus.

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