March 13, 2021

Top 10 Brain-Healthy Foods for Maximum Brain Health

Eating the right kinds of foods is essential to keeping and optimizing brain health. They can help improve our ability to do important tasks such as learning, concentration, and memory work.

These are brain-healthy foods, commonly known as ‘brain foods’. They keep our brains functioning properly much like oil keeps our cars running smoothly. Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, nutrients and healthy fats are all brain-healthy foods. They help prevent or delay the onset of age-related cognitive decline, especially for those aged 50 and above.

Here are some of the best foods for brain health that people, especially seniors, should include in their diet — if they want to retain their mental health and acuity.

1. Berries

Berries have phytochemicals, those deeply colored plant compounds proven to improve motor and cognitive functions. Aside from fighting inflammation, these chemicals prevent oxidative damage in brain cells, improving communication between them and increasing their plasticity – a condition that helps cells form new connections.

Scholars have found that strawberries, bilberries, blueberries, blackberries, black currant and mulberries protect the brain by activating certain enzymes and binding metal ions, curbing tissue damage.

2. Nuts

Walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, and pecans are packed with Vitamin E, healthy fats, and antioxidants. A 2015 study showed that people who ate more walnuts did better in cognitive tests, while another study found that elderly women who had been consuming more nuts over a long period of time not only had better cognitive functions but also showed more physical activity.

3. Fatty Fish

Salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, sardines and trout are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids, healthy oils that are essential in building brain and nerve cells. Fatty fish is both good food for brain and heart health. It is recommended by the American Heart Association that people consume at least 6-8 ounces of omega 3-rich fish twice a week, except for those who have a history of heart disease.

4. Tea and Coffee

Green tea has polyphenols that aid in the formation of new brain cells and their ability to communicate with each other. Regular tea drinkers have been shown to have better-organized regions in the brain compared to non-tea drinkers, a trait associated with healthier cognitive function.

Like coffee, tea has caffeine which increases alertness and concentration and helps boost the “feel-good” neurotransmitters in our brains known as serotonin.

5. Dark chocolate

Cocoa, also known as cacao, has flavonoids which are strong antioxidants. They stimulate blood flow in the brain and heart and reduce inflammation. These plant nutrients have been shown to counteract nerve cell injuries that cause diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Researchers found that people given doses of flavonoids showed an improvement in cognitive function, attention, memory, mental speed and processing.

Like tea and coffee, cocoa triggers our nervous system to release endorphins that cause us to feel better and more positive.

Incidentally, flavonoids are also found in cranberries, onions, tomatoes, grapes and red wine.

6. Green leafy vegetables

Kale, spinach, collards and broccoli are high in nutrients that support brain health, namely Vitamin K, folate, lutein, and beta carotene. Broccoli, in particular, has high levels of Vitamin K which is very beneficial for the nervous system and cognition.

7. Turmeric

This ancient Indian spice used in curry and chicken masala contains the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin, that deep yellow chemical known to ease arthritic pain and fight cancer. Numerous studies show the potential of curcumin in delaying and preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, anxiety and depression.

Try drinking turmeric tea or mixing turmeric with curry powder when preparing your soups and stews.

8. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals that can damage our brain cells. Citruses, strawberries, peppers, kiwi, guava, broccoli, brussels sprouts and tomatoes are all excellent sources of vitamin C.

9. Pumpkin seeds

These contain powerful antioxidants and high levels of micronutrients like zinc, magnesium, copper and iron, all of which are important for brain health.

10. Eggs

Eggs are rich sources of B vitamins, folate and the important nutrient choline which aids in producing neurotransmitters in our brain, responsible for regulating our memory and moods. Found in large quantities in egg yolks and beef liver, choline supports the structural integrity of our brain neurons, promoting mental function and preventing dementia among elderly adults.

There are many other good foods for brain health such as fruits, legumes, whole grains and lean protein. But aside from good nutrition, other factors that contribute to our mental and overall health are adequate sleep, regular exercise, proper hydration, stress reduction and having a positive attitude and good social interactions with others.

Subscribe to the newsletter

Fames amet, amet elit nulla tellus, arcu.

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

Leave A Comment