Improving Memory through Diet

Improving Memory through Diet
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Blueberries have been shown to improve cognition in rats—but what about in people?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

For example, 11 years ago, blueberries gained notoriety for their ability to improve memory—among elderly rats. Now it’s always difficult to extrapolate between species, but I told people it might translate over, and not just work in rats, but work for their pet hamsters, too.

But we finally, this year, have human data. The first human trial to assess the potential benefit of blueberry supplementation on neurocognitive function. What do you think they found? Blueberries improve memory in humans. Is this fact? Or is this fiction?

Let’s look at the study. Blueberries improve memory in humans! Fact.

And it turns out the healthful properties may survive processing into products like blueberry jam. But best to store it in the fridge—even before it’s opened.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Image thanks to Wally Hartshorn via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

For example, 11 years ago, blueberries gained notoriety for their ability to improve memory—among elderly rats. Now it’s always difficult to extrapolate between species, but I told people it might translate over, and not just work in rats, but work for their pet hamsters, too.

But we finally, this year, have human data. The first human trial to assess the potential benefit of blueberry supplementation on neurocognitive function. What do you think they found? Blueberries improve memory in humans. Is this fact? Or is this fiction?

Let’s look at the study. Blueberries improve memory in humans! Fact.

And it turns out the healthful properties may survive processing into products like blueberry jam. But best to store it in the fridge—even before it’s opened.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

 

Image thanks to Wally Hartshorn via flickr

Doctor's Note

For more on the health benefits of blueberries, check out:
How to Slow Brain Aging by Two Years
Boosting Natural Killer Cell Activity
Best Berries
Dietary Treatment of Glaucoma

And check out my other videos on brain health

For more context, also see my associated blog posts: Alzheimer’s Disease: Up to half of cases potentially preventableNatural Alzheimer’s Treatment; and Raspberries Reverse Precancerous Lesions.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

21 responses to “Improving Memory through Diet

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  1. Dear Dr. Greger: I’ve been eating fresh/dried or frozen blueberries daily, often at least 2x a day, since learning they improve memory in older adults, thanks to your LCN Vol. 5. I’ve eaten blueberries regularly for most of a decade, since learning of the USDA/Tufts Univ. study of 40 fruits & veggies.
    What are optimal quantities? Since sleep is primarily for the brain to process events/thoughts of the day, would eating them again 2-3 hours before bed be wise, since they would be digested coincident with sleep?
    I’ve been taking Fish Oil 2-9 grams (now 2 x 2 times a day) and 1 tbsp. Flaxseed Oil for a decade (now 2 tbsp. Flaxseeds themselves at breakfast). Would these combine with blueberries to further optimize brain health??

    I’m a 54 yr. old male, 79 yr old mother clearly with undiagnosed Alzheimer’s or dementia, her mother with Alzheimers severely for 6 years, strongly for 10-12. I exercise regularly & vigorously and have NO signs of dementia.

    Thank you!!




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    1. Hello John Swallow,

      I cannot answer your entire question, as i’m sure Dr. Greger will get to it, but I need to reply to something troubling you wrote. And that is your use of fish oil. If you view this link, you will see fish oil is highly contaminated and quite harmful indeed http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=fish+oil
      I recommend you stop using fish oil as soon as possible, as even “filtered” fish oil has many of the same contaminants as regular. Not to mention that fish oil could result in “aggressive” prostate cancer. http://www.vegsource.com/news/2011/04/study-fish-oil-increases-aggressive-prostate-cancer.html




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  2. What amount of Blueberries should be consumed per day for the memory benefits? And how long will that take to possibly see some positive result?
    Thanks muchly




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  3. Hello! I am a vegan medical student about to take the Step-1 medical licensing exam was wondering if you had any tips for brain-boosting snacks to help power-through 8-hours of intense-testing. If there’s anything to do/avoid the night before/at breakfast, I’d appreciate knowing that as well! Thank you for your time and consideration.




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  4. Some people’s memory gets better with age no matter what they eat. “That fish he caught keeps getting bigger and bigger, every time he tells that story.”




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  5. Dr. Greger, are there any studies showing that eating well has an IMMEDIATE effect on cognitive performance? Take, for example, people who work in an office setting all day. Some of them eat a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich on the way in, candy out of the secretary’s dish mid-morning, two pieces of pepperoni pizza for lunch, and tons of coffee with cream and sugar all day long. Other folks eat oatmeal with flax seeds and blueberries in the morning, and a big bowl of broccoli, tofu, and brown rice for lunch. By the 4 p.m. strategy meeting won’t the people in the second camp be thinking more clearly? Are there studies on this kind of immediate effect of diet quality on cognitive performance? Thanks.




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  6. Dr Greger, I have been having very little success at getting a Healthy whole foods plat diet for my mother in her assisted living facility. Do you have hay suggestions, or resources that might help? Thank you.




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  7. Dr. Greger, Thanks for having this forum! Would you address which amino acids are particularly important for memory? I can only seem to go about a month on a vegan diet before developing problems, which wasn’t true until recently. Spirulina, raw veggies, and balancing seeds and grains with every meal extends the time to about a month. But something seems to be missing!




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    1. Hi Carol. Thanks for your questions. All essential amino acids are important. Trying to recall my biochemistry, phenylalanine and tryptophan come to mind, play important role in neurotransmitter synthesis. Think of dopamine (regulates mood) and Norepinephrine (keeps mind active, alert), serotonin (helps with sleep), etc. I try to stay away from counseling folks to focus on particular amino acids. It it perfectly fine to know what foods are higher than others, but all protein sources have some. If you are eating a mix of foods with protein, all amino acids good for memory should be covered. The idea is variety and finding the best protein sources available. Beans, lentils, peanuts, other nuts and seeds are very high in phenyalanine and tryptophan. I would cautious about spirulina as a protein source and healthy food. I hope this helps a bit!

      Sincerely,
      Joseph




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  8. Dear Dr. Greger. I would love for you to do a HHH video on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Its growing popularity has lead me to wonder if it is effective it is at improving memory, learning and brain activity over all. I’m amazed by the DARPA report on this yet I wonder if it is creditable or is it perhaps propaganda designed to mislead foreign militaries. There is a massive DIY community growing and now larger ventures are being created targeting the gamer community. Getting to the truth would be great. I even have the video title for you. “Could consuming elections directly be a healthy part of a vegen diet?”




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  9. I blend kale and Spanish and beets. Celery Apple cherry and strawberry and flaxseed ginger and garlic altogether.is this ok to do this.or do I have to use only one fruits.and also bandana.please tell me if this is ok. Thanks




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