Most people already understand that when they eat a healthy, nutritionally-dense diet, they feel better and have more energy. However, fewer people realize that the food they eat has a direct effect on their ability to think, learn and commit items to memory.
Numerous studies have now demonstrated a link between certain nutrients and improved cognitive performance. Not only do these brain tonic foods help you to perform your best, but also they protect brain cells and synapses against the degeneration that often plagues people as they age. Researchers even believe that these healthy foods may delay the onset or mitigate the symptoms of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 12 of the best foods for improving memory and brain function. Each one is readily available at most grocery stores and is easy to incorporate into an existing diet.
The omega-3 fatty acids that are packed into every portion of this deep-water fish are essential to optimal brain function. This is the component that makes salmon not only one of the best foods for your brain but valuable for overall health. Scientists cite salmon’s anti-inflammatory properties as another reason to select this food to feed your brain. Consuming salmon two or three times a week can help improve alertness and memory.
2. Leafy, Green Vegetables
Kale, spinach, romaine lettuce and Swiss chard are among the best foods for brain health. This is because they are loaded with powerful antioxidants that protect the brain from deteriorating. One study shows that older adults who enjoyed one or two servings of leafy, green vegetables every day showed fewer of the warning signs of dementia.
Researchers believe that substances like the gallic acid that is found in this super-fruit protect the brain from oxidative stress. Blueberries may also ameliorate the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies demonstrate that regularly consuming blueberries may improve motor skills and the capacity to learn, thanks to mega-doses of vitamins C and K as well as fiber.
Because they are rich in vitamin E, researchers believe that the wholesome walnut can help people maintain mental sharpness as they age. Vitamin E achieves this effect by trapping free radicals that might otherwise damage valuable brain cells.
People who are keen to maintain their ability to communicate as they grow older and make certain that their memory remains razor sharp are advised to eat whole eggs on a regular basis. This also involves eating the yolk which contains choline, a substance that supports neurotransmitter health.
This succulent fruit is loaded with monounsaturated fat, a healthy supply of which supports blood flow throughout the body. This is beneficial for all of the organs, including the brain, making the avocado the best brain food for people of all ages. The avocado’s potential benefits don’t end there. It also lowers blood pressure, a key component that helps to improve brain function, because of its high potassium content.
7. Whole Grains
Foods that contain whole grains provide the essential fuel that keeps your brain alert and active. Keep in mind that although your brain is relatively small compared to the rest of your body, it claims a sizable percentage of the energy you consume. Whole grain foods like quinoa, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice enhance blood flow and provide the brain with the fiber, antioxidants and vitamin E that it needs for optimal functioning.
This incredibly healthy fruit may be the key to staying mentally sharp as the years go by. A single, medium-sized orange contains the entire recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. This is critical because vitamin C helps to protect the brain against age-related decline. Additionally, vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, which means that it traps free radicals that would otherwise damage brain cells.
9. Dark Chocolate
Anyone who has a sweet tooth will be pleased that this item is included among the foods that improve memory. With anti-oxidants, flavonoids and caffeine all being natural components of dark chocolate, it’s easy to see why moderate amounts of this food can boost brain health. Flavonoids are thought to assist with learning and memory while other components in dark chocolate protect against cognitive decline.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds deserve a place on this list of brain-boosting foods because they contain a variety of substances like zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron, all of which support brain function. Zinc and copper support healthy nerve signaling while magnesium is a key component of learning and memory. An iron deficiency contributes to the impairment of brain function, so getting extra iron from pumpkin seeds can contribute to more alert mental processing.
11. Almond Butter
This is one of the best foods for brain health because it contains outstanding concentrations of vitamin E. Indulging in a teaspoon of almond butter on a piece of whole grain bread, in oatmeal, spread on a piece of celery or slathered on a slice of apple can help people improve their cognitive abilities.
12. Cherry Tomatoes
Like other red and orange fruits and vegetables, cherry tomatoes are packed with carotenoids, a nutrient that scientists believe improves thinking and memory. One specific carotenoid, lycopene, is present in extremely high concentrations in the skin of cherry tomatoes, so snacking on a few of these every day is an excellent idea for people who want to preserve their cognitive abilities.