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Foods That Improve Memory

Tired? Stressed? Feeling forgetful? Incorporating these foods that improve memory into your diet might just help you remember more.

With deadlines looming, bills due and so many things on the calendar between orthodontist appointments, track practices and dance rehearsals for my kids, my brain started to feel like mush last year. More importantly, it started to feel like I couldn’t quite retain information of lesser importance.

“I told you that,” became a familiar and uncomfortable refrain. Plus, it made me so tired at the end of the day.

Fortunately, it wasn’t forever. When the deadlines were met, the bills were paid, the appointments kept and the track season completed, my memory rebounded and so did my end of day energy. And when the busyness of our lives ground to a halt, so did the lingering bits of memory lag.

There are many reasons that a person can experience memory issues. Some are permanent, degenerative causes. But this isn’t about that. This is about stress-related memory loss and what you can do about it.

A few notes on what worked for me

When my memory was affected by stress, it took a slowing down — and catching up on work — to help resolve it. But it’s not always possible to just stop. Fortunately, there are other ways to encourage memory improvement in otherwise healthy individuals, including by eating a good, balanced diet.

All of this is not to say that if you eat right, you will avoid diseases of the brain. But if you are suffering from memory lag because you are stressed, stretched thin and trying to keep it all together, eating right can help. And it can help more than your memory. Eating well is all together good for you.

Here are some foods that you should consider adding to your diet if you want to improve your memory and your brain function in general. 


You can get your recommended daily value of vitamin C by eating one medium-sized orange every day. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and it is vitally important in keeping your brain healthy and preventing mental decline as we age. Some studies have even suggested that those who eat plenty of vitamin C are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related forms of dementia. In addition to oranges, vitamin C can be found in kiwi, tomatoes, strawberries, and bell peppers. 


Blueberries are already recognized as a superfood and one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. They have also been linked to improving memory and they can delay short-term memory loss. Blueberries also help to strengthen communication between brain cells. Many of the powerful antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to have a cumulative effect on long-term brain health, so the more of them you eat the healthier your brain will be. 

Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great autumn treat!

Pumpkin seeds are another food that helps to improve memory as well as other brain functions. Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc which is known for boosting memory and critical thinking skills. They also contain B vitamins which help to increase energy levels, magnesium which helps to reduce stress, and tryptophan a chemical known for promoting good moods and warding off depression. 

Dark Chocolate

Who knew that having a sweet treat was beneficial for improving your memory? It’s true though. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, and antioxidants both of which have been proven to boost overall brain health and memory. Dark chocolate can also boost your overall mood and alleviate feelings of depression. 


Give your nuts big flavor with this recipe for Spicy Rosemary Mixed Nuts.

Nuts contain vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy fats all of which are good for both your brain and heart health. Studies conducted over several years have concluded that nuts can help to prevent degenerative brain diseases, slow mental decline and sharpen your memory.

Fatty Fish

This is a sheet pan salmon dinner — so easy, so good!

Fatty fish contain all kinds of healthy nutrients for your body, the most prominent of which is brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. The brain needs omega-3’s for brain and nerve cell growth and also for maintaining and improving memory. Patients who consumed an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids had reduced age-related memory decline, and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Fatty fish include salmon, sardines, anchovies, and trout. 


The spice turmeric has an active ingredient known as curcumin, which can cross the blood-brain barrier and have a direct effect on brain cells. Turmeric is full of antioxidants and also works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Studies on the use of turmeric have shown that it improves memory and may help to clear the plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric promotes new brain cell growth and can slow age-related mental decline. 

If you are concerned about memory loss, or if you just want want to keep your brain as healthy as possible consider adding some of these foods to your diet. The healthier that your brain is, the healthier you will be and feel overall.