Your brain is the pivotal organ of your body that keeps your heart and lungs healthy and allows you to move, feel, and think. Thus, it is always a good idea to keep your brain wholesome and working. Eating best foods for brain health will not only keep your brain vigorous but also improve certain mental tasks, including memory and concentration.
The brain demands some nutrients to function properly. Omega-3 fatty acids will help in repairing brain cells, antioxidants, lessen stress and inflammation. All these are related to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Here, we are going to discuss the 13 best foods for brain health.
13 Best Foods That Will Boost Your Brain and Memory
1. Oily/Fatty fish
When we are talking about brain-boosting foods, oil fish items will certainly inscribe their names on the list. Oily fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that build membranes, including brain cells. They improve the structure of neurons (brain cells). A study was conducted on a group of people in 2017 and, according to it; high levels of omega-3s had improved blood flow in the brain. Scientists have also developed a connection between omega-3 levels and cognition, or thinking abilities.
Examples of omega-3 fatty acid fishes are salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, etc. Several studies have also claimed that people who eat fish regularly tend to have more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter improves your memory, emotion, and decision-making capacities.
Berries come up with flavonoid antioxidants and thus, they are one of the best foods for your brain. Antioxidants lessen inflammation and oxidative stress. Popular antioxidants in berries are anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, and quercetin.
A study was conducted in 2014 and it was revealed that the antioxidant compounds in berries have many positive effects on the brain.
- Better communication between brain cells
- Minimizes inflammation/swelling all over the body
- Delays age-related neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline.
Berries that are beneficial for your brain health are,
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains cocoa (70% or above) that comes up with flavonoids (an antioxidant). The flavonoids in chocolate accumulated in that particular area of the brain that deals with learning and memory. Several studies have found that these compounds may improve memory and also reduce age-related mental decline.
Another study was conducted on over 900 people who ate dark chocolate more frequently and it is found that they performed better in mental tasks than those who rarely ate it. Many experts have also claimed that eating dark chocolate will improve brain plasticity that is imperative for learning and has various brain-related benefits.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are beneficial for your brain as they contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. A study was conducted in 2014 and it is revealed that a higher intake of nuts was linked to better brain function in older age.
Nuts and seeds also contain antioxidants and Vitamin E that protect cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin E promotes brain health in older age. Vitamin E improves cognitive behavior and minimizes the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Popular nuts and seeds are,
- Sunflower seeds
This is another powerful beverage that boosts your brain and memory. Coffee contains caffeine and antioxidants that help the growth of your brain.
Caffeine has multifarious positive effects on the brain, such as:
- Enhanced alertness: By blocking adenosine, caffeine keeps your brain alert. This is a chemical messenger that makes you feel sleepy
- Uplift your mood: Caffeine can boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as dopamine.
- Improved concentration: A study has proved that caffeine consumption will improve attention for short-terms and alertness in participants.
Drinking coffee may minimize the risks of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It is recommended to drink at least 3-4 cups of coffee every day.
Avocados contain healthy unsaturated fats thus; it supports your brain. Eating avocados reduces your blood pressure that is linked with cognitive decline. Thus, by minimizing blood pressure, unsaturated fats in avocados may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Broccoli is a low-calorie fibrous food that is beneficial for your brain. Broccoli contains compounds called glucosinolates. When they break down, they produce isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates minimize oxidative stress and lessen the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Broccoli is also rich in other compounds like vitamin C and flavonoids. These antioxidants also boost a person’s brain health.
Oranges are the powerhouse of vitamin C that prevents mental decline. Several studies have proved that if your body has a good amount of vitamin C, then it will improve various mental functions including, memory, attention, and decision speed. As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C fights off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Vitamin C improves your brain health and safeguards you from various disorders like major depressive disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Eggs are a good source of vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline and thus, it improves your brain’s health. Your body uses choline to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that controls your mood and memory. Vitamin B in eggs also has multifarious roles in brain health. Vitamin B12 is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and controls sugar levels in the brain.
10. Green Tea
Caffeine in green tea improves brain function. But green tea also contains L-theanine (an amino acid) that enhances the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which lessens anxiety and makes you feel more relaxed. Green tea is also loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants that protect the brain from mental decline and minimize the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Curcumin, the prime compound in turmeric, can cross the blood-brain barrier and directly invades the brain, and benefits the cells there. Turmeric improves memory, lessens depression, and supports the growth of new cells.
Kale also contains glucosinolates, and other essential compounds like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Thus, kale is a superfood.
13. Soy Products
Soy products contain polyphenols (antioxidants) that minimize the risk of dementia and improve cognitive behavior.
Also Read: Keto Diet Boosts Brain Health
The Bottom Line
The above article gave you an idea regarding a brain diet that will make your brain healthy and functional. By incorporating these foods into your diet regime, you can support your brain health. Eating a brain-boosting diet is also beneficial for your overall body.
1.What can I drink to improve my memory?
Drink hot chocolate to improve memory, as it is rich in flavanols, a plant-based substance that help to improve memory, processing speed, and attention. Apart from hot chocolate, you may also try drinking green tea, which is rich in caffeine, that helps to boost up brain function.
2. What are the top 5 nuts for brain?
Nuts are believed to be good for brain due to higher levels of DHA, which is an essential compound for brain health. The top 5 nuts for brain are almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and pistachio. Each of these nuts have something special for brain health.
3. Food to improve memory for exams?
Students about to appear in exams must take care of their diet and try to include foods that help to improve their memory. Some of the foods that help to improve memory for exams are:
3. Fatty Fish
5. Dark Chocolate
6. Pumpkin Seeds
4. Is Walnut good for brain?
Yes, walnuts are good for brain. Various researches have revealed that walnuts are the best nuts for brain health because of a higher concentration of DHA, a useful Omega-3 fatty acid for your brain health. It helps in boosting the performance of your brain and also prevents age-related cognitive decline.
5. Which is better for brain almond or walnut?
Although, both almonds and walnuts are considered good for brain health, walnuts are considered better out of the two. Almonds help in improving memory power of your brain, but if compared with walnuts the ratio is less. In short, walnuts are better than almonds both for your brain as well as for your heart.