9 Foods that are Great for your Brain

Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

The brain is an important part of the body that allows a person to think or feel. It is necessary to provide our brain with a lot of nutrients to keep it healthy and functional. According to a study published in Public Health Nutrition foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can help protect the brain, improving memory and concentration. The brain needs fuel to perform and function, and fuel comes in the form of nutrients and calories. Deficiencies in both nutrients and calories can lead to disruption in the brain’s ability to function properly. The Mediterranean diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and fish has resulted in lowering high blood pressure, the prevention of age-related conditions and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Supplements for a Healthy Brain 

It is important for a person to include some supplements in his/her diet, like: 

  • B vitamins (especially B6, B12 and B9) 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc 
  • Copper 
  • Iron 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids 

According to studies, the best brain foods are the ones that protect your heart, like

1) Blueberries 

Blueberries are crowned as the king and considered America’s first superfood. It gives nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese to the body. It improves learning capacity and memory, lowers blood pressure and prevents heart diseases. It also Improves communication between brain cells and increases plasticity for boosting learning and memory. 

2) Flax seeds

It gives nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins like B1 and B6, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus to the body. It is easily added to salads, smoothies or other dishes. The consumption of flax seeds results in healthy brain development, strong focus and improved memory. 

Read More: The Psychology Behind Focus

3) Leafy vegetables 

Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are high in Vitamin E which helps in protecting cell membranes from free radicals. Free radicals refer to unstable molecules that attack cells inside the body. These contain antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins that slow down cognitive decline and fight the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin K sharpens memory while the antioxidants can also protect the brain from a few radicals. 

Read More: 9 Foods that Boost Serotonin

4) Coffee 

It is known for increasing alertness by blocking adenosine which is a chemical that makes a person feel tired. It is rich in antioxidants that promote better brain health and help boost the brain’s overall functioning. According to the National Institute on Aging, individuals who drank more coffee performed better on memory tests. It is also said that a good consumption of coffee can help in reducing the risk of 

5) Avocados 

They help in boosting brain functions. They are rich in lutein (a carotenoid) that accumulates in the brain and eyes and influences brain functions positively. The consumption of avocados leads to increased blood levels of lutein and experienced improvements in mental tests. A study in Tufts University (2018) linked avocados with better brain functioning in older adults. The research had 40 healthy adults above 50 years of age who ate one avocado per day for six months. It was found that they experienced an improvement in their working memory.

6) Whole Grains 

For the brain to work effectively it is important to provide it with a sufficient amount of glucose to maintain concentration and focus. Whole Grains release energy directly into the bloodstream which helps in keeping a person mentally alert. Eating less wholegrains and more fast food can lead to irritability, and brain fog and affect your mood. Whole-grain foods include: Brown rice, Oatmeal, Whole-grain bread, etc 

7) Green Tea 

It helps in improving alertness and enhancing working memory and focus. L- theanine is an amino acid present in Green tea that increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA and helps in reducing anxiety and relaxes a person. It also contains antioxidants that protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease. 

8) Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate is rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc and fibre. It has a 70% cocoa content and contains brain-boosting compounds like flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants that can improve blood flow to the brain and reduce inflammation. It also helps in improving memory, focus, mood and negative emotional states of a person. 

9) Nuts

They are rich in nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3 fats, copper, and manganese which help in nurturing and protecting brain cells, preventing cognitive decline and improving cognitive functions. Nuts like almonds and pistachios are very beneficial for the brain and health. Almonds help in improving memory while pistachio nut oils help prevent inflammation. But, compared to other nuts, Walnuts give twice as many antioxidants that reduce cognitive decline and fight inflammation. According to studies, consumption of nuts can make the heart and brain healthy and lower the risk of neurological disorders.

Read More: Unlock Your Brain’s Power: Enhance Memory and Cognitive Performance

In conclusion, maintaining a diet rich in essential vitamins, fats, and proteins is crucial for optimal brain health. A nutritious diet not only enhances mental performance but also supports individuals in their professional or academic pursuits. Alongside dietary considerations, engaging in brain-boosting activities such as exercise, adequate sleep, hydration, and mindfulness practices further promotes cognitive well-being. By adopting these holistic approaches, individuals can cultivate a healthy lifestyle conducive to sustained mental acuity and overall vitality.

References +

  • Clancy, N. (2023, February 1) 7 of the Best Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Concentration
  • Daugherty, L. (2024, April 12) Brain Boosters: 12 Memory-Enhancing Foods for Your Cognitive Health

  • Hipp, D. (2024, January 9) The Best Food For Brain Health

  • Jennings, K. (2024, March 13) Best Foods for A Healthy Brain and Improved Memory

  • Kubala, J. (2020, October 12) The Top 9 Brain Foods for Studying and Exams

  • Mathis, A. (2023, April 25) 6 Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day for Better Brain Health, According to a Dietitian 

  • Singh, M. (2024, May 2) 9 Summer Foods To Help Boost Brain Health

  • Williams, J. (2024, January 30) 10 foods to boost your brainpower

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