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Foods to Boost Your Brain Power

December 21st, 2011 Healthy Living

If you're looking for ways to keep your brain sharp as you age, certain foods may be the answer. While there isn't one particular food that can improve your brain function, eating a diet rich in certain "smart foods" can help your brain fight the effects of aging and boost your memory and concentration. Here are some of the types you should be eating, according to WebMD and ThirdAge.com

Fish Fish is a great source of protein, which is full of omega-3 fatty acids that help your brain's function and development and can lower your risk for stroke or dementia. Fish also helps slow mental decline and can enhance your memory. Aim for two or three servings a week.

Caffeine While it's not a food, caffeine can help energize your brain and improve focus. Coffee, soda and energy drinks can supply you with plenty, as can chocolate and some medications. The effects are mostly short-term, but some studies suggest that coffee has long-term benefits for women especially. Drink a cup or two every day for a morning boost.

Bananas These fruits are packed with all kinds of goodies, like potassium, vitamin C, manganese and fiber. They've also been shown to help improve memory. Bananas contain vitamin B6, which helps the body produce serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which can support concentration.

Blueberries Animal studies have shown that blueberries can help protect the brain from damaging free radicals and could even reduce the effects of brain aging conditions like Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Blueberry-rich diets improved the learning and muscle function of aged rats, making them the mental equivalents of younger rats. Don't hesitate to put these berries in your cereal or blend them up into a smoothie!