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The Best Foods to Protect Your Memory as You Age

couple at farmers market with healthy food

Many people are concerned about eating, and enjoying, a healthy diet. This concern often stems from wanting to maintain healthy body weight, but may also include a desire to improve overall wellness. New food science research points to many foods that may have functional benefits, such as improving joint health, mood, and cognition. 

For seniors, learning about food that improves memory can be an important step in creating a well-rounded wellness program. While research is still ongoing, there are several foods that have been identified as having possible benefits for helping people maintain and improve their memories.

Coffee & Tea

Your morning cup of coffee or tea might be keeping your mind nimble. A 2014 study in the Journal of Nutrition showed that study participants who consumed caffeine tablets performed better on cognitive tests than a control group. Be aware, however, that not everybody responds to caffeine in the same way. If you have high blood pressure, for example, you might want to speak to your physician about whether drinking caffeinated beverages is right for you. 

Whole Grains

Recent research examines the connection between blood sugar and insulin levels on memory and mental fitness. Some researchers believe that sugar and other refined carbohydrates can destabilize blood sugar and insulin, which can contribute to memory loss. Opt for whole grains instead, which are digested more slowly, helping you to maintain consistent insulin levels.


Many diet plans recommend the consumption of fruits and vegetables. While it is true that leafy greens (such as spinach or kale) and cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower) are believed to have a positive impact on brain health, some fruits are better eaten in moderation. This is because fruit can have high levels of sugar. There is an exception, though: Berries.

Berries are often lower in sugar than other fruits. In addition, the rich, dark pigments of some berries, including blackberries and blueberries, is the result of flavanols, natural substances that give berries their color. A 2012 study at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospitallinked the consumption of berries to women’s long-term cognitive health. 

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate and berries have a few things in common, at least when it comes to being researched as a food that improves memory. Both are low in sugar and both contain flavonoids that can offer a memory boost. Don’t be afraid to combine the two, either! 

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats that not only help satisfy your appetite, but that may also have a protective effect on your brain. Walnuts and flax seeds, for example, contain ALA omega-3 fatty acids that might provide benefits for both brain and cardiovascular health.

Some Types of Fish

Fatty fish such as herring, anchovies, trout, bluefin tuna, and salmon also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Swapping out fish for red meat a few times a week can provide you with the benefits of these healthy fats while also fighting memory loss.

Incorporating Foods for Memory in Your Diet

If you want to learn how to increase memory power naturally through making dietary changes, you might want to consider taking a cooking class, particularly those that focus on healthy eating or whole-food-based cuisines such as the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes whole grains, healthy fats, fish, and seafood.

Everleigh active adult communities offer a range of activities, including cooking classes, that incorporate wellness principles. You can learn more about how Everleigh promotes a healthy lifestyle by getting in touch with us today!