3 Memory-Boosting Recipes to Improve Your Brain Health

These recipes only have a few ingredients.

By Victoria Giardina
overnight oats with turmeric

There are some days when you walk into a room and forget why you walked there in the first place. While this isn't always a big issue, brain health should be taken seriously, and memory is an important indicator that your health could be declining. Meditating and practicing other ways to de-stress can definitely help, but these memory-boosting recipes will contribute positively to brain health.

According to NBC News, one in eight Americans over age 60 experience memory loss and of these individuals, one-third said that they had difficulty focusing on work, household chores, and social activities. It's common to think that memory just dwindles with age, but according to the National Institute on Aging, emotional problems like stress and certain medical conditions — tumors, kidney and thyroid disorders, and overconsumption of alcohol — can lead to memory problems as well.

Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, author of The Alzheimer's Solution: A Breakthrough Program to Prevent and Reverse the Symptoms of Cognitive Decline at Every Age, says that while "genetics certainly play a role in your risk [for memory loss], a much more significant contributing factor is the result of your lifestyle choices — things you do every single day and can control." One of the factors you can control is what you eat. Just like the foods you eat can increase your risk for conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, they can also take a toll on your brain. Take control of your brain health with Dr. Sherzai's list of approved foods that have been shown to boost memory.

Golden Milk Overnight Oats

You may resort to overnight oats for an easy grab-and-go in the morning, but golden milk is the key ingredient to make this meal good for your brain. It's just almond milk, but the gold color is made possible by adding turmeric — an antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory food — that has been linked to improved memory.

Dr. Sherzai notes that components in turmeric bind to amyloids, a.k.a. the "bad" protein in your brain that increases as you age and is associated with Alzheimer's disease. When turmeric binds to this harmful protein, it flushes it out of the body, making memory loss less likely. Try making this golden milk overnight oats recipe from chef Nikki Dinki to start your morning off right.

Oatmeal is a good combination with turmeric, according to Dr. Sherzai, because it is a source of good carbs as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These health benefits of oatmeal — along with  high fiber content — can also help to lower bad blood cholesterol levels. This ensures that less cholesterol gets trapped in our arteries, which is not only a plus for heart health, but for brain health as well. Dr. Sherzai says that too much cholesterol in our blood can raise the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Salad With Fish Oil Dressing

For memory-boosting benefits, ditch the balsamic vinegarette and thousand island dressings for now and use a dressing with fish oil instead. Fish oil is an omega-3, which Dr. Sherzai says is essential for brain health. Fish oil also aids in cognitive function for those with mild memory loss and even depression, according to Healthline

Fish oil does not have the most delicious taste, so Dinki recommends to combine it with Greek yogurt, orange juice, honey, vinegar, and chives for a beautifully-balanced, flavorful citrus honey dressing. Dinki suggests to use this recipe as a spread on sandwiches or in pasta salads, too. "This is really the best way to be taking your fish oil every day," Dr. Sherzai adds.

A Shot of Beet & Ginger Juice

Wellness shots are trending lately, but taking a shot of beet and ginger juice, specifically, offers some mind-strengthening benefits. According to Dr. Sherzai, beets are like "Viagra for the brain," being a nitrate-rich vegetable that increases oxygen to the brain and opens up arteries for more blood to flow throughout. She also raves about ginger; it's a flavorful ingredient that can cut down inflammation, which can slow the rate of cognitive decline. 

It doesn't hurt to try it: Dr. Oz also swears by beet juice (it's one of his favorite superfoods!).

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Related:

The Anti-Alzheimer's Meal Plan

9 Benefits of Ginger

The 4-Step Plan to Jumpstart Your Memory and Mood

Article written by Victoria Giardina