What we eat impacts much more than our body weight, for our diets influence our energy levels, risk of disease, digestion, and much more.
The food we consume can even change how our brains perform. Diets filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy animal protein, and beneficial fats can help improve concentration and memory.
The following list includes some of the best foods thought to help promote brain health and boost its performance.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are loaded with beneficial fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, all helpful for brain health. Vitamin E protects the brain from degradation that occurs with age. Regular consumption of nuts, for example, was correlated with a reduced cognitive decline in older adults.
Seeds and nuts can easily be added to dishes, like salads, for added crunch. Nut and seed butters are also convenient and relatively healthy foods, especially for children.
Coffee and Tea
Caffeine from your morning tea and coffee doesn’t just spike energy levels; it helps your brain, too. The caffeine and antioxidants in these beverages support brain function and have been associated with a reduction in neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
This item may be more challenging to convince your kids to consume, but it might be worth the battle. The large, green, flowering vegetable from the cabbage family possesses vitamins A and C, powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients that can fight brain decay.
Broccoli also contains vitamin K, which has been linked to brain cell survival and improved memory function.
While broccoli may not be everyone’s favorite, the way it is prepared can help its palatability. Try covering the florets in healthy fat, like olive oil, sprinkling them with salt, and baking them in the oven.
Ensure you do not skip the nutrient-dense yolk when preparing your next scramble. Eggs are like multivitamins, rich in B12, B6, folate, and choline. Choline is thought to reduce inflammation and improve memory.
Meaningful folate and vitamin B levels can be sourced from leafy greens like spinach. B vitamin may play a part in reducing homocysteine, an amino acid correlated with heightened risks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider compounding your brain food benefits by adding leafy greens to your next omelet at breakfast.
A recurring characteristic among brain foods is their high levels of antioxidants, and blueberries do not fall short. They also contain significant levels of flavonoids, similarly suspected of helping maintain brain health and boost memory.
Blueberries may also help slow brain deterioration via anti-inflammatory compounds known as anthocyanins. Keeping a bag in the freezer ensures you always have potent antioxidants ready for a smoothie or bowl of yogurt.
Convenience aside, frozen blueberries are also thought to possess higher levels of antioxidants compared to their fresh counterparts, though the mineral content may be higher in fresh varieties.
Salmon, sardines, and tuna all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the brain and critical for memory function. It is also suspected that these fatty acids can suppress cognitive decline.
Fish doesn’t have to be prepared as part of an elaborate meal. A can of tuna on a bed of spinach is a quick and easy way to consume more omega-3.