Five Memory-Boosting Foods

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Are you sick of forgetting birthdays, meetings, special events, and names? Being a space cadet doesn't just happen from lack of sleep or stress, it can also be a result of foods that are missing from your diet. We spoke with Nicholas Perricone, M.D., founder of Perricone MD and Super by Dr. Perricone to find out which foods can help improve your memory.

1. Anchovies

Anchovies are more than Caeser salad toppings. They help you to think more clearly, improve your memory, and assist with problem-solving skills. They can also help your appearance! “DMAE—dimethylaminoethanol—is a nutritional substance found in anchovies that helps to maintain muscle tone in the face and body as we age, and prevents both sagging and drooping of the muscles under the skin,” says Dr. Perricone. What a superfood!

2. Blueberries

We’re always telling you about the benefits of blueberries (they improve memory, keep your skin youthful, and are one of the best sources of antioxidants), but did you know that they can prevent your brain from aging too? “Blueberries contain important phytochemicals that have been found to prevent the loss of dopamine cells, which normally occurs with aging,” says Dr. Perricone. “This means that they increase brain energy production and maintain youthful brain function.”

3. Cinnamon

As well as smelling delicious (try some sprinkled on hot cocoa!), cinnamon fights infections, prevents wrinkle formation, and blocks age-accelerating diseases, some of which can cause memory loss. But that’s not all. “Cinnamon’s strong and fragrant aroma boosts cognitive processing in the brain, improving memory and attention span,” says Dr. Perricone.

4. Salmon

Salmon is a great source of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, which new studies show is essential for learning and a healthy memory. “Wild salmon and other cold-water fish—sardines, herring, trout, anchovies—contain omega-3, which is critical to the brain and nervous system,” says Dr. Perricone. “They also improve your mood, increase sense of well-being, fight depression, give you glowing radiant skin, and improve memory and brainpower.”

5. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

We’ve already told you about the importance of oils for your skin and body, but they’re also important for a healthy brain. “Fats function as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K and are also crucial to brain health,” says Dr. Perricone. “Choose organic extra virgin first pressing olive oil and enjoy its anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-stabilizing, brain-boosting benefits.”