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5 foods that help improve memory and focus

While sleep and reducing stress can help considerably, a nutrient-rich diet is a must to improve concentration and focus. We spoke to experts to find out more.

Add these to your help improve memory and focus

1) Walnuts

There’s a reason that walnuts look like tiny brains. They have a high concentration of DHA, which helps to maintain healthy brain function. Though all nuts are good sources of antioxidants, walnuts rank higher in potency when compared to superfoods such as almonds, pistachios and peanuts. They also protect the brain tissue from inflammation, which helps to support it as you age. Even seeds (like pumpkin seeds), are helpful for this. Agarwal also points out that they are an excellent source of magnesium, which is essential for memory and learning.

2) Fatty fish

“Fatty fish like salmon, herring, cod liver, sardines, mackerel, or tuna improve concentration as these are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, which enhances the functioning of the brain and nervous system,” says Valikarimwala. For vegetarians, avocados work the same way. Rich in omega-3, Vitamins D, E and B, and minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron, avocados help reduce oxidative stress.

3) Turmeric

“Curcumin, the active ingredient compound found in turmeric that gives the spice its characteristic yellow colour, can protect brain health and also improve mood and memory function,” says Agarwal. Recent research shows that curcumin can stimulate a brain hormone BDNF, which is able to boost and protect the functioning of neurons.

4) Blueberries

Nicknamed ‘brain-berries’, these are able to address inflammation and oxidative stress to the brain. The flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) present in them are able to improve blood flow, improve communication between the cells, and protect neurons from damage.

5) Water

“The most commonly neglected ingredient is water. Although the brain might adapt in the short term, but in long term, chronic dehydration might lead to deficit in brain function, and contribute to the feelings associated with brain fog. In fact, a recent study showed that when a person was dehydrated, the brain needed to put in more effort to complete the task at hand,” says Valikarimwala.