Memory training involves more than techniques that help you to learn and retain what you learn. Things like exercise and brain foods are also part of the strategy that will increase your brainpower, and keep you sharp throughout your lifetime.
I have done extensive research into foods and nutrients, some have called brain foods that have been scientifically researched and shown to enhance memory function as well as overall health. I would like to share 20 of these memory aids with you:
1. ALCAR or Acetyl-L-carnitine – a dietary supplement, naturally occurring in plants and animals. It has the ability to cross the "blood-brain barrier" (the separation of circulating blood and the brain fluid in the central nervous system), where it acts as a powerful antioxidant in the prevention of the brain cells' deterioration.
2. Ashwagandha – also known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry. This has been proven in two scientific studies to enhance cognition and improve memory.
3. Bacopa Monniera – a marshy plant that grows in the Middle East, Florida and Hawaii. It produces antioxidant properties and, according to some recent studies, may improve higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory.
4. Blueberries, Acai berries and blackberries are known to be "super brain foods" that carry antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids known to accelerate learning, and improve mental and physical health.
5. Cacao Beans – in other words-chocolate! Although not the kind with all the gooey butter and additives, chocolate has been known for centuries to have the power to enhance memory and create a "blissful" feeling.
6. Choline – a necessary B-complex vitamin found in eggs and fatty meats. Choline is the formative molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control.
7. Coffee – are you surprised? Fresh-ground gently roasted coffee bean powder (again, like with cacao not the ones with added sugars and cream) has numerous brain and body health benefits… including the caffeine content which has recently been shown to be GOOD for the brain, not bad, and particularly in the area of antioxidants.
Drinking coffee on a regular basis has been shown to actually help prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Surprisingly, caffeine has been found to be the "#1 source of antioxidants in the average American diet!"
8. DMAE – related to choline, is also a precursor molecule for the acetylocholine neurotransmitter. It has been studies to lengthen the attention span of hyperactive and ADD children, and have been shown to accelerate learning and decrease irritability to students in the studies.
9. Eggs – has gotten a bad rap due to their cholesterol properties, but actually are necessary, along with dairy products, for a balanced body and mind, and considered one of the "super brain foods."
10. Folic Acid – otherwise known as vitamin B9, is necessary in numerous bodily functions, including natural cell division and growth, and been shown to improve memory.
The USDA has declared that folic acid be added to all cereal-grain foods sold in the USA.
11. Ginkgo Biloba – a popular herbal supplement, has been found to increase memory function and help to prevent the onset of dementia in older people.
Note: Taking too much of the ginkgo seed (common treat for weddings and celebrations in the Middle East) can be toxic, so take only as prescribed on the label of the supplement.
12. Ginseng root – has many nutritional and herbal medicine varieties (including panax ginseng), and some have been proven to accelerate learning, improve reactions and aid in abstract thinking. It is popular in the United States both as a supplement, and as a tea.
13. Matcha – (stone-ground Gyokuru green tea powder) – Matcha's unique effects on the brain were a perfect fit for Buddhist monks in Japan preparing to endure 12-hour straight meditation sessions. It allows them to become calm and focused, while stimulating them at the same time.
14. Omega-3 fatty acids – found largely in wild salmon (not farm-grown salmon) that have that original pink coloring, is the highest type of brain food your mind and body can find.
15. Red Berries – such as strawberries, cherries and raspberries contain high amounts of anti-oxidants that increase blood circulation, which enhances memory.
16. Sage – used by many cultures over centuries to enhance wisdom and increase memory. Holistic practitioners and herbalists believed that sage has the ability to invigorate the nerves, and there is scientific evidence to support this theory.
17. Thiamin, or vitamin B1 – has been shown in clinical trials to produce faster reaction times, clear-headedness and increased concentration.
18. Turmeric – Curcumin is the substance that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color and is also responsible, at least in part, for some of the health benefits of curried dishes, including improving memory.
19. Vitamins B12, C, D and E, beta-carotene, and magnesium – boost memory and help to prevent age-related dementia.
20. Walnuts and other nuts – like almonds, provide much-needed vitamin E that boost brainpower and alertness.