10 brain healthy foods to improve function and memory

10 brain healthy foods to improve function and memory

Here are some things to think about: What you eat can keep your brain healthy in the long run.

Research shows that eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients such as Mind Diet Perhaps significantly slow age-related cognitive decline And reduce the risk of disease Like Alzheimer’s disease. It may even change the structure of your head to support cognitive skills like memory and attention, according to a study published earlier this year in Scientific Reports.

So what foods, exactly, are best for your brain? “There is evidence that it’s not just about one food for brain health but how groups of foods work together,” he says. Mark MilsteinPhD, author The brain is a sign of aging. Diet patterns rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and high-fiber foods such as beans and whole grains appear to be the most beneficial. If you’re looking for a few specific items to add to your shopping list, these foods are a great place to start.

leafy vegetables

Here’s another reason to go green: Eating just one serving a day of leafy greens—think half a cup of cooked vegetables or a cup of raw vegetables—can keep you sharper, find one Neurology study. Vegetables like spinach, kale, kale, and lettuce are rich in phytochemicals like folate, vitamin K, and lutein, which are thought to slow the rate of age-related cognitive decline.

“Make it a routine that you prepare or order a salad daily and you’ll hit the target,” he says. Wendy BazilianDrPH, book author Eat clean, stay slim series. Or try adding a handful of greens in a smoothie, adding stir-fried veggies to cereal dishes or on top of whole-wheat pizza, or snacking. DIY kale chips.

fat fish

Options like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring are some of Milstein’s favorite brain-boosting foods. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which form a vital layer for brain cells to help them send electrical signals. “These electrical signals play an important role in remembering, thinking, and focusing,” Milstein explains.

Aim to enjoy at least two four-ounce servings of fish per week, she recommends Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Omega-3s found in foods may be more beneficial than those found in supplements such as fish oil.


Young fruits contain a large amount of phytochemicals. blueberry Rich in anthocyaninsIt offers neuroprotective benefits by fighting inflammation and oxidation, and supporting healthy blood sugar. “All of these functions play an important role in maintaining and protecting brain health, as well as helping to delay or reduce the effects of aging,” says Bazilian.

Blueberries are also rich in prebiotics and beneficial fibers that feed the good bacteria in your gut. And “what’s good for the gut is good for the brain,” Milstein says, since Mounting evidence appears Digestive health affects cognitive function.


A recent study found that replacing half of your daily serving of animal foods such as butter, cheese or processed meats with avocados may reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 22 percent. American Heart Association study. This, in turn, benefits the brain: When your blood vessels and circulation are healthy, your brain is better able to receive the blood, oxygen, and nutrients it needs to function at its best, explains Bazilian.


Like avocados, nuts are full of healthy unsaturated fats that support your brain by protecting your heart. Walnut appears to be particularly strong. “They are rich in nutrients including polyphenols, tocopherols, and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 fats that may play an important role in supporting brain function and slowing the onset of age-related decline,” says Bazilian.

Make it a point to enjoy at least two 1-ounce servings of walnuts per week. Women in their 50s and 60s who consumed this much were less likely to have chronic disease or poor memory after age 65, per one Journal of Aging Research study.


Your morning drink not only helps you feel focused and alert after drinking. Regular coffee consumption is also associated with lower rates of cognitive decline, according to a 10-year study published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

People who drank three cups of coffee a day had the greatest brain benefits, but drinking more isn’t necessarily better. Consuming more than six cups of coffee per day can actually increase your risk of stroke or dementia. Research has shown.


Leafy greens aren’t the only vegetables that are good for gray matter. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli (along with cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) are full of the phytochemical sulforaphane, which may protect against Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Results indicate. “Phytochemicals help protect, repair, neutralize, eliminate, and more,” explains Bazilian. attempt Roasting broccoli with balsamic vinegar Or lemon for a side dish or cereal bowl, or substitute lightly steamed broccoli for basil in your favorite pesto recipe.


It was found that eating at least three servings of whole grains such as oatmeal per day was associated with slower rates of decline in cognitive function and memory. Current Developments in Nutrition study. One possible reason? Whole grains are rich in fiber (a cup of cooked oatmeal contains 4 grams), which supports normal cholesterol levels and healthy blood vessel function. “When we protect the heart, we protect the brain,” Milstein says.

Green tea

The jury is still out on whether green tea provides long-term protection for the brain. But enjoying an herbal spray can help you feel rejuvenated in the moment. Green tea contains caffeine as well as phytochemicals including L-theanine and EGCG, which are believed to work together to improve alertness, focus and memory. 1 review.

dark chocolate

Fun fact: The places with the highest consumption of chocolate absolutely happen They have the greatest concentration Of the Nobel Prize winners. Although there is no guarantee that beautiful things will boost your IQ, Research shows Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols that may support healthy cognitive function by fighting inflammation. Just stick to chocolate that contains at least 60 percent cocoa, as lower percentages may not be enough to provide benefits. “About one ounce per day can fit into your diet without having to make a lot of adjustments elsewhere,” says Bazilian.

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