The 5 Best Foods to Help Sharpen Your Memory

As we age, our bodies begin to function differently. Unfortunately, our memory ages with us. Adding a few foods to your diet can not only slow down the age related memory loss, but sharpen your memory.

All of the foods on this lists contain memory friendly compounds such as antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and are heart healthy. Here are the 5 best foods that will sharpen your memory:


Blueberries (cc licensed flickr photo shared by La Grande Farmers' Market)


Blueberries contain anthocyanin and quercetin, compounds found to reverse memory loss related to age. They are also rich in antioxidants which protect the brain against cell-damaging free radicals. This super food can also reduce the effects of Alzheimers and Dementia. Plums, dark grapes and red apples contain many of the same compounds as blueberries and can also slow down the effects of age on your memory.


Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats linked to slower declines in memory, cognitive function and lower rates of dementia. Eat salmon or other fatty fish like sardines at least once a week to sharpen your memory. Studies have shown that people who ate these kinds of fish at least once per week showed 10 percent less decline in memory, and their memory functions were equal to those three years younger.


Though it may be a guilty pleasure, dark,unsweetened chocolate can improve your memory. Chocolate is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant associated with slowing down age-related memory loss. Not to mention, flavonols found in cocoa have been shown to improve cognitive function. The caffeine found in chocolate can also sharpen your focus and concentration. As with all good things in life, moderation is key. Portions should be limited to one serving per day.

Whole Grains

A diet high in whole grains can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. These benefits can improve blood flow to the brain. Whole grains also contain folic acid which has been shown to improve information processing and memory. Whole grains are also rich in vitamin B, another vitamin linked to improvements in memory. Whole grains are not only good for your brain, but also for your body. They will keep you full longer and help keep your digestive tract healthy.

Red Wine

Having one glass of red wine per day may improve your heart health and sharpen your memory. Wine is loaded with the resveratrol and other antioxidants which protect brain cells against free radicals. A glass of red wine per day can also improve your cholesterol.  These effects have only been shown with moderate consumption, so consumption should be limited to one class per day.

Smart foods like blueberries, salmon, chocolate, whole grains, and red wine can be great tools for improving your memory and protecting your body. Proper hydration, a well-balanced diet and healthy sleep can also slow down the effects of aging and sharpen your cognitive function on a daily basis. All of these foods are good for your brain, but in general try to choose darker fruits and vegetables, which contain more antioxidants and other essential nutrients like folate, to improve your memory. As always, consult your doctor or health care provider about changes to your diet.

Rachel Carr is a nutritionist and guest contributor at

4 Comments on “The 5 Best Foods to Help Sharpen Your Memory”

  1. I have a bowl of blueberries every morning ! They have a very high ORAC score (about 10,000), and I have a dark choc every evening after supper (ORAC about 20,000 – 50, 000), and a glass of red wine with most evening meals (not a very high ORAC score, but lots of other benefits, like resveretol, which improves HDL-Cholesterol !)
    I never leave out my oily fish, and supplement with 1100 mg of EPA/DHA every day !
    Good article !

  2. Mmm, I like all of those! I’ve been seen walking home from Wegmans eating from an 18oz blueberry package! Good thing I just started using unsweetened chocolate when recipes call for semi-sweet!

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