Blue fish and chocolate, little extras to remember

The consumption of these foods would prevent cognitive deterioration associated with age, as well as the development of neurodegenerative pathologies.

Keeping memory is a daily job. Reading, board games and reflection, or physical exercise, are the fundamental pillars. But it also goes through the plate. The scientific literature is categorical: an unbalanced diet, rich in sugars and fats, causes memory to fail. Instead, a healthy and varied diet preserves it! For this, certain foods are true allies.

In the first line: Omega 3. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in fatty fish (sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, etc.), but also in vegetable oils (rapeseed, walnuts, flax, etc.). Once consumed, they provide the brain with DHA and EPA, essential molecules for the production of neurons and the correct development of the brain in childhood. Later, they play a protective role and maintain brain functions. “Several epidemiological studies have shown that weekly consumption of oily fish is associated with a slowdown in cognitive decline and protects against the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s”, says Sophie LayĆ©, director of the NutriNeurO laboratory (Inrae, University of Bordeaux) and coordinator of the Food4BrainHealth international research network.

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In addition, it has been shown that people with a diet low in omega 3 have a lower level of DHA in the brain, in particular in the hippocampus, the seat of memory. Consequence: the connection between neurons is disturbed, which leads to memory deficits. “It has also been established that these fatty acids reduce inflammatory phenomena that are harmful to the brain,” adds the specialist.

Cocoa increases working memory

In addition to taking care of your brain, it is recommended to consume about 250 mg of DHA and 250 mg of EPA per day. Needs covered by eating portions of oily fish at least twice a week, but also decorating your salad with a mixture of vegetable oils or eating nuts.

To further improve your memory, succumb without guilt to a piece of chocolate with dessert or coffee. Several studies show, in fact, that cocoa stimulates working memory, the one that allows us to perform a mental calculation or remember a phone number. Chocolate might even reverse normal memory decline in people ages 50 to 70 by improving the functioning of certain brain regions.

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All of these benefits are attributable to the polyphenols, called flavonoids, in the cocoa bean. Substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that would protect the brain and, in particular, the blood vessels that cross it. Numerous studies show that the consumption of a square of dark chocolate, or about 6 g, reduces between 20 and 40% the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke, pathologies linked to accelerated cognitive deterioration. And for those who don’t really like chocolate, don’t panic! Fruits and vegetables are also very rich in polyphenols.

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