Eating Your Way to Better Brain Health


The phrase “you are what you eat” has never been more accurate. Researchers are discovering a direct relationship between food and cognition. In other words, what you put in your gut has an impact on your brain health and may, in fact, delay or protect against cognitive decline and dementia. Earlier this year, Medical News Today compiled a survey of research demonstrating the beneficial cognitive effects of healthy eating. While the article is definitely worth a read, here are some of the more salient takeaways.

  • oily fish (such as salmon, canned tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines) are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which bolster the functioning of neurons in the brain and may increase blood flow to the brain
  • dark chocolate contains the anti-oxidant, flavonoid, which is linked to neuron and blood vessel growth in the memory and learning centers of the brain
  • anti-oxidant rich berries (including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and black currants) have significant brain-boosting effects, such as improving the communication between brain cells and combatting age-related cognitive decline
  • many nuts and seeds (among them almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds) are rich not only in Omega-3s, but also in Vitamin E which is being explored for its brain- and cognition-boosting effects
  • Vitamin E is also found in whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, barley and whole-grain breads and pastas
  • the caffeine in coffee may enhance the brain’s capacity for processing information, and the consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline
  • monounsaturated fats (contained in avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, soybean, and sunflower and canola oils) can reduce high blood pressure which is considered a risk factor for cognitive decline
  • eggs are rich in vitamins B-6, B-12, and B-9 (folic acid) which may prevent brain shrinkage
  • leafy greens and vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage and turnips) are chock full of brain-boosting compounds

It’s never too late to rehabilitate your eating habits in favour of a more nutritious alternative. Consider dumping the potato chips for a bowl of mixed nuts! Your brain may just thank you. And remember that a solitary glass of wine to accompany your new brain-smart diet has also been proven to lower the risk of dementia and perhaps even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. That may make the kale easier to swallow!

Eat well. Be well. And stay healthy.

Amy Lewtas, Founder of RetroSparX

New to RetroSparX

We are pleased to announce the following new RetroSparX memory game units which have recently been released and can be found on our website ( We invite you to delve into the topics and tackle the memory games for seniors that comprise each unit. And we wish you happy reminiscing while you recall, relive and revel in these moments.

Relive the Great Gatsby Era in the 1920s

Memory Game for Seniors - The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a masterpiece of American literature that exposed the corrupt side to the dazzling and decadent 1920s. Relive our enduring fascination with the novel and its continuing relevance in today’s world.

Included memory games for seniors

  • In Literature to Lose Yourself In, find matching word pairings to complete the names of classic books and their authors. A famous quote from The Great Gatsby will be revealed in the process.
  • Book Banter challenges you to select the correct words from a ‘book store’ to complete words, phrases and titles inspired by the world of literature.

Revel in the Craft Beer Revolution of the 1970s

Memory Game for Seniors - Craft Beer

Remember back to when some upstart brewers tried to crack through the stranglehold that a few mega-producers had on the beer market. Those brave souls launched a revolution in brewing that gave birth to an entire craft beer industry.

Included memory games for seniors

  • In Crack Open a Cold One, find missing letters to complete the names of famous beers that whet the whistle of bar patrons across the world. In the process, the country which has the greatest number of breweries will be revealed.
  • In One Thing Leads to Another, unscramble letters to find a word that completes a word or phrase which appears before it and begins a word or phrase which follows. The words you create will leave you thirsty for a pint!

Recall the Group of Seven's Studio in the early 1900s

Memory Game for Seniors - Group of Seven Studio

Recall the Studio Building, an art studio nestled in a Toronto ravine, that was at the center of an unparalleled Canadian artistic legacy in the early 1900s. The light-filled structure became home to several members of one of Canada’s most treasured artist collectives, the Group of Seven.

Included memory games for seniors

  • Rediscover famous artists whose works are hung in museums around the world by unscrambling letters to complete their names in Artists that Dazzle.
  • In Terms of Art, select a word that completes a word or phrase which appears before it and begins a word or phrase which follows. At least one word or phrase from each solution will be a ‘term of art’.