Brain food, or foods that improve memory and concentration, is important for your mental health and for keeping the grey matter healthy and happy.
There are many brain foods which will protect the brain from dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other medical conditions which could affect it.
Table of Contents
- Oily fish
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark Chocolate
- Vitamin C-rich foods
- Freshly brewed tea
Eating these 10 amazing brain foods as part of a balanced, healthy diet will not only improve your brain’s health but also your concentration and memory.
Blueberries, also called ‘Brainberries’ by doctors and nutritionists, have been found to reduce the effects of age-related brain conditions as well as protect it from oxidative stress.
Blueberries (and other deep-coloured berries) release anthocyanins, which are plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which help protect the brain against neurodegenerative and brain-ageing diseases.
Add blueberries to your daily smoothie or even sprinkle cut blueberries over your breakfast cereal. This way, you can add blueberries effortlessly to your meals.
Did you know?
Studies at Tufts University, Massachusetts have even found that consuming blueberries could improve or delay short-term memory loss and also help improve memory.
2. Oily fish:
Fatty fish tops the list of best brain-boosting foods; these include sardines, trout, kippers, pilchards, herring, mackerel, and salmon, all of which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.
These acids, which account for half the fat content in the brain, help build nerve and brain cells essential for memory and learning, slow age-related mental decline, are good for the grey matter, and also help keep Alzheimer’s at bay.
Low levels of these fatty acids could lead to increased dementia risk, learning impairments and even depression affecting the brain health.
Why is a Mediterranean diet considered one of the healthiest in the world? Read this to know more.
3. Pumpkin seeds:
These tiny powerhouses of zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron are extremely helpful in enhancing thinking and memory skills, improving nerve-signalling, and also contain powerful antioxidants which protect the brain from free radical damage.
In fact, deficiency of zinc is linked to Parkinson’s, depression and Alzheimer’s, while deficiency of magnesium could lead to epilepsy and migraines.
Low iron levels in the brain could even lead to impaired brain function and brain fog.
Broccoli is one of the best brain healthy foods there is and is a great source of Vitamin K and powerful plant compounds including antioxidants.
The fat-soluble Vitamin K enhances cognitive brain function, improves brain power and memory, while the antioxidants help protect the brain against damage.
Did you know?
Broccoli delivers more than 100% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) of Vitamin K in the body when one eats a mere 91g of it.
Studies have also found broccoli to be high in glucosinolates compounds which could reduce the breakdown of the acetylcholine neurotransmitters.
This could help the memories and brains stay sharp as well as help the central nervous system perform properly.
Why not make yourself a bowl of delicious yet healthy Broccoli soup?
Nuts are rich in Vitamin E, antioxidants, and healthy fats, which contribute towards good brain health.
A 2014 review has, in fact, shown that nuts not only help prevent neurodegenerative diseases but also improve cognition.
Did you know?
An American Journal of Epidemiology study found that a healthy dose of Vitamin E intake helps prevent cognitive decline, especially in older people.
A 30-year+ study of more than 15,000 women demonstrated that those women who consumed nuts 5 times every week had more focus and better recall memories than those who didn’t.
Eggs are rich in choline and the Vitamins B12, B6, and folate, which are all tied to brain health. Studies have proven choline (in the egg yolk) to be linked to good mental function and better memory.
In fact, a single egg yolk contains as much as 112mg of cholate, with the adequate intake being 550mg for men and 425mg for women.
The B vitamins help slow mental decline progression in older people, and being deficient in the B vitamins has been linked to depression.
Since the brain is dependent on blood flow, like any other organ, the brain health depends on cardiovascular health to a large extent. Whole grains such as cereals, pasta, rice, granary bread, oatmeal, etc.
reduce heart disease risks by supplying the body with omega-3s, Vitamin E, and fibre, thus protecting the brain.
Also, the ability to focus and concentrate comes from energy in the form of glucose to the brain blood, which is also something whole grains can help with.
8. Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate contains powerful brain-boosting compounds such as antioxidants, caffeine, and flavonoids.
While caffeine enhances concentration and focus, the flavonoids better memory and learning, and these compounds overall help slow down mental decline related to old age.
However, remember that this is one memory food where more isn’t better.
Did you know?
One study with 900+ people found that those who consumed chocolate more performed better in memory and mental tasks as compared to those who ate chocolate rarely.
9. Vitamin C-rich foods:
Research suggests that Vitamin C deficiency could be a risk factor for age-dependent brain deterioration such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Vitamin C has been found to not only manage stress and anxiety but also have the power to increase mental agility and is also a powerful antioxidant – think oranges, red peppers, blackcurrants, strawberries, tomatoes, and guava.
10. Freshly brewed tea:
Whether it is iced or hot, 2-3 cups of freshly brewed tea every day ensures enough caffeine intake for boosting mood, focus, and memory. The potent antioxidants (catechins) also promote healthy blood flow, which protects the brain health.
The list of brain development foods is endless, so eat your way to a smarter brain today. Start off your diet with this amazing omega-3 brain booster smoothie!
1. How to increase memory power?
Indulging in physical exercise, getting enough sleep, keeping stress in check, laughing and spending time with friends and family, and eating a healthy diet go a long way in increasing memory power.
2. How to increase memory power in students?
Students can increase memory power by indulging in yoga and meditation, taking steps to improve attention and concentration, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and the like.
3. What are some foods that improve memory?
Apart from the above, some other brain foods are avocados, beets, bone broth, celery, extra virgin olive oil, green, leafy veggies, turmeric, walnuts, etc.