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January 20, 2013

Memory-Booster Foods

Sharpen a dull memory with this creamy chip dip: hummus.

Eating foods rich in B vitamins and omega-3s, like hummus, can be a real memory booster, according to Samantha Heller, author of Get Smart. And these nutrients will be especially brain-friendly if you combine them with a few extra ZZZs.

The Hummus Health Benefits
Hummus is a Mediterranean staple made from vitamin B6-rich chickpeas and high-in-omega-3 olive oil — nutrients that Heller says are key to a swift, sharp memory. A spinach salad with a little drizzle of olive oil and vinegar will net you brain-friendly nutrients as well, because spinach is rich in B9. And tuna is another great source of both B vitamins and omega-3s. (Related: Eat your chickpeas whole with this Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi recipe from EatingWell.)

And a Side of Sleep
In addition to the hummus health benefits, sleep is a great memory booster also. So when you’re working on a brain-friendly menu, remember to hit the hay early, too. Heller notes that combining B vitamins, omega-3s, and better sleep is a surefire recipe for improving your recall. To improve your sleep habits, keep a regular sleep schedule, eliminate stimulating late-night activities like Web surfing, keep the bedroom dark and quiet, and put your mind at ease before bedtime with quiet activities like journaling or listening to music. (Related: Destress right now with this simple three-step activity.)

Have your last meal of the day a little earlier to help you sleep more soundly.

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