Eating healthy can improve memory and slow down cognitive decline. Eating foods rich in certain compounds can help people can keep their mental abilities well into old age.

According to Linda Milo Ohr, contributing editor of Food Technology magazine, recent research has shown how six foods and ingredients that can be easily integrated into a person's diet can help boost memory. The magazine is published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Omega-3 fatty acids - Cold water fish like salmon is a good source of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, which are linked to improved cognitive functioning and lower depression. According to The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to consume at least 8 ounces but no more than 12 ounces of seafood each week and not eat certain types of fish that are high in mercury.

Green tea - According to Medline Plus, green tea, that's made from Camellia sinensis plant is effective in improving mental alertness and thinking. The effect of green tea improving mental abilities is mostly due to the caffeine present in the product. According to IFT, recent study has shown that antioxidants like epigallocatechin-3-gallate can aid memory.

Blueberries - A rich source of anthocyanins, blueberries can improve scores in memory related tests. Research has suggested that a diet rich in berries can help in maintaining cognitive abilities. According to a latest study, women who eat strawberries and blueberries have a reduced risk of heart attack.

Green leafy vegetables and other foods that contain magnesium - Needed for 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium helps maintain normal mental and nerve functions, according to Office of Dietary Supplements. Green leafy vegetables, beans and peas, nuts, seeds and unrefined food grains are all good sources of magnesium. A 2010 study showed that magnesium improved cognitive abilities of aged rats.

Walnuts - Antioxidants present in these nuts can reduce the risk of age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease.

Chocolate - Recent studies have shown that cocoa consumption can improve cognitive abilities of a person.