10 Best Foods To Improve Brain Health and Memory
The food you eat is the fuel on which your brain runs. Think of it like this- your brain works 24/7, even while you sleep, regulating your entire nervous system and passing signals and instructions from one part of your body to the other. Brain-boosting foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish your brain and protect it from oxidative stress and aging.
To help you create the perfect mind diet, we have compiled a list of the ten best foods that improve memory that will help your brain function at its peak. But before we begin, what are some common nutrients found in all brain-healthy foods?
Most foods that help with memory contain large amounts of:
- Antioxidants (prevent or delay cell damage)
- Vitamin B
- Healthy fats
- Omega fatty acids
10 Best Good Food for Brain
These 10 brain-healthy foods will boost your memory and give you great health.
- Oily Fish
- Whole Grains
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dark chocolate
1. Oily Fish
Oily fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them one of the good foods for memory. About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and 50% of your brain fat comprises omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s play a major role in building the brain and nerve cells and are known for improving memory and learning. Research also indicates that eating fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and sardines can slow age-related mental decline and prevent conditions like Alzheimer’s (progressive memory loss).
Antioxidant-rich berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and mulberries reduce oxidative stress. Study reveals that the antioxidants present in berries can help:
- Improve communication between brain cells
- Boost learning and memory by increasing the brain’s plasticity (ability to re-wire itself or form new connections)
- Prevent or delay cognitive decline (characterized by difficulty thinking, memorising, or concentrating as one ages)
3. Whole Grains
Higher levels of blood sugar are linked to lower levels of brain activity. Unlike refined carbohydrates, whole grains have a low glycemic index (the rate at which specific foods release sugar into the bloodstream). Thus, they break down slowly in your body and release sugar gradually, allowing your brain to function more effectively.
Some healthy whole grain alternatives that you should include in your mind diet are:
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta
- Brown rice
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli- there is an endless number of leafy greens that make for great food for the brain. These contain essential antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins that support better brain health and slow down cognitive decline. Green leafy vegetables are also the storehouse of lutein and folate, which reduce inflammation in the brain and fight the onset of Alzheimer’s.
5. Nuts and seeds
Just like oily fish, nuts and seeds also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, making them one of the best foods for the brain. They are also a rich source of Vitamin E, known to protect the brain from oxidative stress in old age. Study reveals that regular consumption of nuts can reduce the risk of age-related memory loss. Moreover, women who eat nuts regularly exhibit better memories as they grow older than those who don’t eat nuts.While you may consider including almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds in your mind diet, walnuts make the best food for the brain, with higher levels of antioxidants than other nuts and seeds.
Known for evoking instant alertness, the caffeine in coffee can help boost your brain’s overall functioning. It is also a rich source of antioxidants that promotes better brain health as you grow older. Research also reveals that life-long consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nonetheless, make sure not to consume too much coffee as the caffeine can disrupt your sleep cycles and doesn't suit everyone.
Rich in Vitamin C, a single medium-sized orange is all you need to improve your cognitive abilities and boost your brain health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your brain cells from age-related damage. It also helps prevent mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Some other foods for the brain that is rich in Vitamin C include:
- Bell peppers
This succulent fruit comes loaded with healthy unsaturated fat that reduces blood pressure and consequently prevents cognitive decline. Avocados offer several benefits for all organs, including the brain, which makes them the best brain food for all age groups. Moreover, the monounsaturated fat in avocados promotes healthy blood flow, further boosting brain health.
Eggs provide several essential nutrients that make them excellent food for memory. Packed with vitamin B-6, B-12, and folic acid, regular consumption of eggs can protect your brain from shrinking and delay cognitive decline. Additionally, the egg yolk is a great source of choline, known for improving brain function and memory.
10. Dark chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth, here’s a great reason to include dark chocolate in your mind diet. With powerful antioxidants and natural stimulants like caffeine, dark chocolate can help not just improve your memory and focus but also your mood! The flavonoids in dark chocolate assist with learning and memory, while its antioxidants prevent cognitive decline.
Is Eating Brain-Healthy Foods Enough to Boost Memory?
It is true that when it comes to your overall mental well-being and cognitive abilities, you are what you eat. However, even slight lifestyle changes can go a long way in ensuring better brain health while protecting your brain from age-related loss of memory and cognitive decline.
Some additional ways to boost your brain health include:
- Get adequate sleep
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise regularly
- Practice yoga and other mindfulness techniques
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Keep stress levels in check
- Neither overeat nor skip your meals
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