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What Types of Foods Can Help Improve Memory in Seniors?

a senior man is cooking food that helps with memory and leans in to have a taste of the meal he is preparing

Memory loss in seniors is a common health-related issue associated with aging. While there is no proven cure for memory loss, there are strategies seniors can use to help improve or preserve memory. From activities in senior memory care to specific foods, many lifestyle changes can help keep the brain healthy. At Buckner Retirement Services, we focus on total wellness, including planning activities and providing food that helps with memory. To learn more about our senior care services, call us today at 214.227.7182.

What Types of Foods Are Beneficial to the Brain?

There are many different types of foods that are beneficial to the brain. Here are some of the foods that have been shown to help with memory.

Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The brain is made up primarily of fat, and a lot of that fat is the omega-3 fat type. That’s why foods with omega-3 fatty acids are one of the best brain foods for seniors. These fatty acids are critical for brain function as well as brain development in all stages of life.

Getting low levels of fat in the diet has been associated with learning and memory issues in seniors and can even accelerate brain aging. Examples of foods with omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Plant oils

Incorporating these foods into a daily diet is easy and can go a long way toward improving memory.


The health benefits of coffee have been studied for a long time. Many have posited that consuming coffee can help protect your brain. The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee can increase alertness, improve mood, and help protect you from stress and inflammation. However, too much coffee can come with certain health risks, so it’s important to work with a health professional to find the right balance in coffee consumption.


We’ve always known that fruits have beneficial vitamins and fiber, but they may also be a type of food that helps with memory loss. Deep-colored berries like blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries contain antioxidants that have known anti-inflammatory effects.

These antioxidants also accumulate in the brain and can help improve brain function and communication with brain cells. Regular consumption of berries has been associated with improved memory and may even delay memory loss.


Turmeric is a spice that communities around the world have used for millennia. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been linked with the growth of new brain cells, which makes turmeric another food that helps with memory loss. It has also been shown to help clear plaques that are common in seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric can easily be incorporated into a variety of dishes or even into a smoothie or drink.

Pumpkin Seeds

Many of us only think of pumpkin seeds around Halloween or in the fall. However, eating pumpkin seeds year-round can have real memory benefits. While small, pumpkin seeds contain essential nutrients zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium. These minerals help control brain function and nerve signaling, which can help with learning and memory recall.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is not often considered a “health food,” but dark chocolate can have real memory benefits for seniors. Dark chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants that can boost brain function and enhance memory. Dark chocolate also contains other essential nutrients, including fiber, iron, magnesium, and copper.

Brain Foods for Seniors at Buckner Retirement Services

At Buckner Retirement Services, we take a holistic approach to the health and wellness of our community members. We ensure seniors have access to nutritious meals, including food that helps with memory. To learn more about the food program and communities at Buckner Retirement Services, contact us today at 214.227.7182