15 Best Brain-Boosting Foods You Should Stock Your Fridge With ASAP
Going for a jog, tackling a crossword puzzle, and learning a new language are all excellent ways to stimulate your brain and keep your memory sharp. But what about the food you're eating? There are plenty of healthy, antioxidant-rich, brain-boosting foods that can boost your mood, stop aging, and keep your brain young and thriving.
It's never too early to think about your brain health and staving off cognitive decline. Plus, what you eat can have a serious impact on your mood and energy levels. Stock up on these brain-boosting foods for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy brain.
It's hard to resist sweet strawberries in the Summer, and it's a good thing — they're packed with antioxidants, which can fight inflammation and slow down aging of the body and brain. Plus, research found that participants who ate blueberries and strawberries delayed their brain decline by up to two and a half years.
The ultimate brain booster: blueberries have 36 percent of your daily vitamin K and are full of antiaging resveratrol. These antioxidants are anti-inflammatory, which can prevent stress that causes aging and brain decline. Blueberries specifically may improve memory loss; one study found that drinking blueberry juice helped slow down memory loss in older patients.
You may not think of broccoli as an antioxidant, but has anti-inflammatory compounds in the form of phytochemicals. It's also high in vitamin K, which has been shown to boost cognition in older patients.
Oranges aren't just a low-cal snack at 50 grams per orange; they're also packed with brain-boosting benefits. Oranges are packed with vitamin C, which is a key nutrient for brain function. Oranges are also packed with antioxidants, which can fight inflammation.
Like fatty fish, walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to boost brain health. Walnuts have about 2,500 milligrams of omega-3s per ounce, which is much more than the daily recommendation of 250 to 500 milligrams a day.
Although almonds don't have healthy omega-3s like walnuts do, they still contain healthy fats that can help your brain health. A 2014 study found that women who eat nuts regularly over several years had a better memory compared to those who didn't eat nuts.
Turkey doesn't just put you to sleep; it also contains tyrosine, an amino acid that can help maintain levels of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter that also improves memory.
Fatty fishes, such as salmon, sardines, and trout, are some of the best foods for your brain, thanks to the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Since about 60 percent of your brain is made of fat — half of which is omega-3 — it's important to eat plenty of this nutrient. Omega-3s have been shown to slow cognitive decline and can prevent brain deterioration.
You probably already rely on coffee for the caffeine boost, which can help you feel awake and able to concentrate and improve your mood. But drinking coffee has also been linked to preventing cognitive decline as you age.
Yet another excuse to indulge in (dark) chocolate: it's packed with flavanoids, which have been shown to slow cognitive decline and prevent neurological disorders. Dark chocolate also has caffeine, which can perk you up, and antioxidants. When shopping for dark chocolate, the darker, the better; opt for 70 percent or more cacao.
Eggs are a uniquely brain-beneficial food because they contain choline, which has been found to boost brain function.
Red grapes aren't just a sweet snack; they can help your brain, too. They're packed with antioxidants, and a study published in 2016 found that people who ate grapes experienced less cognitive decline compared to the placebo group.
Spinach is rich in antioxidants, which can help fight off inflammation and impact brain health. It's also high in folate, which is essential for brain function. A folate deficiency has been linked to depression and cognitive impairment, so make like Popeye and stock up on this leafy green.