Memory loss is caused from many environmental factors, but basically it is the result of neurons in the brain not getting sufficient vitamins and minerals to keep the neurons alive and well. Eating the right diet is a key factor in helping the brain remain active, to get those nerve endings tingling again and help reduce memory loss.
Healthy cooking means healthy eating, which in turn can even reverse memory loss. In fact, healthy food choices can be far more beneficial than taking drugs when faced with memory loss.
There are essential nutrients that the brain needs to prevent and even reverse memory loss . These include macronutrients like saturated fats, protein and carbohydrates and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. Let us take a look, specifically at omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants which we can include in our cooking to provide the body with these essentials.
Beginning with the omega 3 fatty acids, these are needed by the body to function healthily. We need the fatty acids in our diet as they are excellent for reducing cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are also linked to our cognitive functioning. That is #1 reason why omega 3 is essential for improving the memory. And just how do you get omega 3 fatty acids? The best sources is through diet, so include plenty of salmon, herrings, mackerels, sardines, tuna, halibut and bluefish in the weekly diet. The oily fish contain a rich supply of omega 3. Cook fish by steaming or grilling for the healthiest meals.
B vitamins are needed to protect the neurons in the brain and reduce cardiovascular problems. B vitamins are also anti-inflammatory and vital to building red blood cells, producing new brain cells and promoting healthy brain function. In other words eat your spinach, it has all the goodness you need of B vitamins.
You can also include broccoli, asparagus, dark leafy green vegetables and leaves, wheat germ, whole grains, strawberries, melons, carrots, nuts, beans, legumes, soybeans, seeds, seafood, dairy item and lean meat in the regular diet. Try to incorporate something from all these items in the weekly menus you plan for the family.
Broccoli has been shown to help preserve the barrier protecting the brain following injury. Broccoli has been linked to a series of health boosting vectors, and not just those connected with brain health.
In the antioxidants group, be sure to add blueberries to your diet – everyone loves these. They are great for breakfast or just eat as a snack during the day. Add them to yogurt for a really healthy dessert. Vitamin C and E and beta carotene are all antioxidants that help to improve oxygen flow in the body, neutralize free radicals and improve cognitive function. When cooking include as many servings of Brussel sprouts, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds as possible.
But did you know that dried oregano has 30 times the brain-healing antioxidant power of raw blueberries, 46 times more than apples, and 56 times as much as strawberries. This makes dried oregano one of the most powerful brain cell protectors on the planet. (1) Garlic is also known to promote better blood flow to the brain and killed brain cancer cells in a 2007 study.(2)
Try this Broccoli Kale Soup together with fresh cooked wild-caught salmon or other seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Broccoli Kale Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
- ½ tsp flax oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 cups broccoli sprouts
- 5 kale leaves. Remove stalk.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat, then add onions and carrots. Cook 4-6 minutes, until fragrant and just starting to brown.
- Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until brown.
- Add broccoli sprouts and stock to pot and cook 7 minutes. Add kale and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add flax oil, oregano
- Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender.
- Stir in yogurt and reheat (do not boil). Serve immediately.
- Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, ARS, USDA, Little Rock, AR. 2007. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods. http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=15866.
- Das, A., N.L. Banik, and S.K. Ray. 2007. Garlic compounds generate reactive oxygen species leading to activation of stress kinases in human glioblastoma T98G and U87MG cells. Cancer 110(5):1083-95.