Oats, nuts, and dried fruit spilling out of jars

7 Foods That Boosts Memory

Oct 19, 2020Rise Bar Team

Do you ever find yourself caught in a mid-week slump? Are you looking for ways to help you focus or be able to quickly recall information?

While it is not the only factor, recent evidence from scientific studies suggests the incorporation of certain foods into your diet may help boost memory and brain functioning.

Man looking stressed while on laptop

In this article, we are going to go over some foods that may help to boost memory and cognitive function while also providing you with a few tips on how to incorporate these foods into your everyday lives.

Consuming tea, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in polyphenols and flavonoids have been shown to protect against disorders of the neurological system.

Polyphenols can suppress inflammation in the brain while also proving to help with memory, overall learning and cognitive functioning.

Flavonoids are one class of polyphenols found in berries, tea, and cocoa. Many studies have seen that regular consumption is beneficial in protecting against cognitive decline and may also enhance cognitive performance.

7 Foods that Help Boost Memory

  1. Walnuts
  2. Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which plays an important role in overall metabolism, thyroid functioning, and helps to boost immunity. Regular consumption of brazil nuts may also enhance antioxidant capacity in the body and reduce inflammation, lipid oxidation and the risk of possible development of brain dysfunction and cancer.
  3. Berries
  4. Leafy green vegetables: Recent research has looked at cognitive decline and nutrients found in green leafy vegetables such as vitamin K, lutein, B-carotene, folate, and vitamin E. It was found that consuming at least 1 serving of green leafy vegetables rich in these nutrients may help slow the progression of age-related cognitive decline.
  5. Cacao: Cacao or dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids; once flavonoids are absorbed they specifically accumulate in the regions of the brain that are associated with learning and memory.
  6. Green tea: Green tea also contains a high amount of phytochemicals that has been seen to help with cognitive brain functioning as well as improving focus. Matcha green tea has been growing in popularity for its thought to also contribute to brain functioning with a higher amount of L-theanine which is an amino acid that can elevate levels of dopamine and serotonin. Studies have shown that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine work to improve attention span, sustain memory, and reduce distraction.
  7. Pomegranate juice
Cup of matcha tea with latte art

5 Tips for Incorporating Memory Boosting Foods to your Diet

  1. Add berries on top of Greek yogurt for breakfast or a snack throughout the day
  2. Make a homemade trail-mix with brazil nuts and walnuts
  3. Use a tbsp. of cacao powder in overnight oats
  4. Add a tsp of matcha to a green smoothie with green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
  5. Make a marinade with pomegranate juice to prep your proteins for the week

We hope that the next time you are feeling in need of a brain boost, you try incorporating one of these foods into your day.

1) Miller, M. G., Thangthaeng, N., Poulose, S. M., & Shukitt-Hale, B. (2017). Role of fruits, nuts, and vegetables in maintaining cognitive health. Experimental Gerontology, 94, 24-28. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2016.12.014
2) Dietz, C., & Dekker, M. (2017). Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 23(19), 2876-2905. doi:10.2174/1381612823666170105151800
3) Cardoso BR, Duarte GBS, Reis BZ, Cozzolino SMF. Brazil nuts: Nutritional composition, health benefits and safety aspects. Food Res Int. 2017 Oct;100(Pt 2):9-18. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.08.036. Epub 2017 Aug 14. PMID: 28888463.
4) Meeusen R, Decroix L. Nutritional Supplements and the Brain. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Mar 1;28(2):200-211. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0314. Epub 2018 Feb 23. PMID: 29252056.
5) Allgrove, J., & Davison, G. (2014). Dark Chocolate/Cocoa Polyphenols and Oxidative Stress. Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease, 241-251. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-398456-2.00019-0
6) Alcauskas, M., & Galetta, S. (2018). Editors' note: Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology, 91(10). doi:10.1212/wnl.0000000000006110

Author: Karli McCarthy
Cal Poly, SLO Nutrition Student

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