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Top foods to feed your brain

Good grains, good brains!

November 13, 2021 0 comments
top foods to feed brain

There are many ways to improve brain function, but what’s better than to have top foods feed your brain? 

Your brain works non-stop, day and night.

And the right foods keep it going!

Imagine giving blood and sweat to your job, thinking of getting promoted, and all you get is a paid vacation!

Arghh!!!!

Hurts terrible, right?

The same happens to your brain when you treat yourself with processed junk food after a stressful day.

As the CEO of your body, it manages and controls your other organs as well.

So it is imperative to keep your brain in its peak working condition.

To do that, you have to consume the right foods.

When you consume foods that are good for your brain, you see an improvement in:

The right foods also help in preventing cognitive decline.

So let’s understand what these right foods are and how they are helpful.

Healthy Foods For Your Brain

diet for brain

Let’s talk about the foods that are good for your brain or your memory.

Honestly, what is healthy for the rest of your body is also healthy for your brain.

Fill up your plate with a variety of healthy food items like:

  • Whole foods.
  • Grains.
  • Plant-based foods.
  • Green vegetables.
  • Seeds and nuts.
  • Fatty foods.

Some studies suggest that prioritizing plant-based foods over animal meat can help with: (1)

  • Better brain function.
  • Minimizing the risk of brain damage.
  • Preventing cognitive decline.
  • Reducing the risk of brain-related diseases.

Though your overall diet is what matters, some foods support brain health like no other.

Let’s talk in detail about them.

Feed your brain item #1: Fatty fish

salmon fish garnished with lemon and veggies for brain health

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, herring, etc., is a storehouse of Omega 3s.

Omega 3 fatty acids are healthy fats that have brain-boosting benefits.

Fatty fishes are incredibly healthy, and apart from the fat content, these fishes include nutrients like:

  • Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Calcium.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, iodine.

Studies have found that these foods improve your brain function (2) and:

  • Build new brain cells.
  • Helps in brain development in kids.
  • Prevent cognitive decline.
  • Improve brain structure.
  • Increase blood flow in the brain.

Just like eggs, the benefits of these fishes are seen over your entire lifetime.

Experts suggest that these foods are a must for pregnant women and older adults.

Pregnant women who consumed seafood every once a week had babies with higher IQ scores and improved cognition. (3)

Research says that older people consuming seafood once every week had an increase in the volume of the brain, which is responsible: (4)

  • To improve memory and cognition.
  • To reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Feed your brain item #2: Berries

Mixed berry salad basket for boosting brain memory

Looking for foods that improve memory?

Berries, or particularly blueberries, are the answer for you!

All types of berries are packed with:

  • Vitamin C.
  • Fiber.
  • Compounds.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Anthocyanins.

And trust us, if you eat them regularly, they do wonders to your brain and body.

These are helpful in:

  • Improving memory.
  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Prove antioxidants for free radicals.

Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, berries:

  • Help against inflammation and oxidative stress, which cause brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. (5)
  • Improve communication between brain cells. (6)

Berries also contain skin firming properties and give your skin that natural glow.

Feed your brain item #3: Turmeric

Turmeric Curcumin for efficient brain system

Turmeric is our favorite biohacking supplements.. Well, want to know why? The amazing yellowish spice is much more than the essential ingredient in curries and provides excellent benefits for the brain.

Turmeric contains nutrients like:

  • Fiber.
  • Carbohydrates.
  • Manganese.
  • Potassium.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Curcumin.

All of these nutrients, especially curcumin, helps to cross the blood-brain barrier, which means it directly gets into the brain and improves your brain cells. (7)

Its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties benefit the brain in the following ways:

  • Improves memory– Curcumin clears out the amyloid plaques that are responsible for igniting Alzheimer’s. And it also improves memory in people already affected by that disease. (8)
  • Eases depression– Turmeric enhances your body’s serotonin and dopamine levels, which improve your mood. (9)
  • Encourages brain cell development– Curcumin amplifies neurotrophic factors, a growth hormone responsible for the development of brain cells. It also helps in delaying age-related neurodegenerative diseases. (10)

Feed your brain item #4: Broccoli

minced broccoli on white bowl ready to be served for healthy brain

Broccoli is the king of green veggies.

It is packed with: (11)

  • Vitamin A, C, K.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Fiber.
  • Potassium.
  • Folate.
  • Manganese.
  • Iron.

It contains Vitamin K in huge quantities, which is vital for building sphingolipids.

Sphingolipids are fats that are useful for your brain cells. (12)

Studies in older adults have found a link between higher Vitamin K with better cognitive status and memory. (13)

Broccoli also contains anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, which help your brain against damage. (14)

Feed your brain item #5: Pumpkin seeds

raw pumpkin seed placed with pumpkin for better brain function

Looking for a snack that’s tasty and healthy?

Pumpkin seeds are the right choice for you!

These are excellent sources of:

  • Magnesium.
  • Zinc.
  • Copper.
  • Iron.

Each of these nutrients is essential for your brain function and have several benefits like:

  • Magnesium– It is crucial for memory, learning and is also helpful for fighting against depression, migraine, epilepsy, and other neurological diseases. The only problem with magnesium is, you need 7 different forms of magnesium in body. That’s strange and obviously super hard to manage. To rule out having 7 different bottles for 7 magnesium, you can switch to supplements like BIOptimizers Magnesium. (15)
  • Zinc– This mineral is crucial for your nerve signaling. If you’re deficient in zinc, you are more prone to diseases like depression, Parkinson’s disease, etc. (16)
  • Copper– Copper is vital for keeping your signal in control. When your copper levels are out of proportion, there is a high chance of neurodegenerative disorders. (17)
  • Iron– Iron is essential for your brain function. Its deficiency can cause brain fog.

Feed your brain item #6: Dark chocolate

dark chocolate with cocoa powder for elevated brain

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder is a storehouse of:

  • Flavonoids.
  • Caffeine.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Protein.
  • Fats.
  • Carbohydrates.
  • Sugar.

Dark chocolate contains more than or equal to 70% of cocoa as compared to regular chocolates.

Dark chocolate is excellent for your brain and memory: (18)

  • It boosts memory.
  • Delays age-related mental decline.
  • It also improves our mood.

Feed your brain item #7: Nuts

Dried fruit bowl to hack brain fitness

Nuts are the best form of snacks if you are looking to improve your health.

These are packed with nutrients like:

  • Fat.
  • Fiber.
  • Proteins.
  • Omega 3s.
  • Omega 6
  • Vitamin E.
  • Magnesium.

And are considered the best foods for improving memory.

Apart from that, these are also helpful in:

  • Lowering the risk of cognitive decline. (19)
  • Protecting you against free radical damage. (20)

Though all nuts are suitable for your brain, walnuts still top the list.

The reason is- It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds.

Feed your brain item #8: Oranges

As we all know, oranges are a storehouse of Vitamin C.

But do you know it contains other essential nutrients which are helpful for your brain function?

Yes! It contains plenty of nutrients like:

  • Vitamin A.
  • Fiber.
  • Protein.
  • Calcium.

And it benefits your mental health in the following ways:

  • It prevents cognitive decline. (21)
  • It improves memory, concentration, and decision-making. (22)
  • It protects you against significant brain diseases like schizophrenia, depressive disorder, Alzheimer’s disease. (23)

Feed your brain item #9: Eggs

Eggs are the best!

Can’t deny that.

They are power-packed with nutrients like:

  • B Vitamins.
  • Folate.
  • Choline.

Choline is an essential micronutrient used by your body to produce acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that controls your mood and memory. (24)

Generally, we don’t get much choline through our diet.

So adding eggs to our daily diet can help us balance our choline levels.

Also, the Vitamin B content in eggs helps in:

  • Delaying mental decline.
  • Lowering the risk of dementia.
  • Regulating the sugar levels in your brain.
  • Reducing the stress hormones.

Feed your brain item #10: Green tea

We all know how healthy and nutritious green tea is!

But apart from the health benefits, it is also great for your mental well-being.

Green tea boosts brain function and:

  • Improves cognitive performance.
  • Enhances memory and concentration.

All because of the magical nutrients present in it.

Green tea contains:

  • L-theanine– An amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and helps reduce anxiety, and makes you feel relaxed. (25) In rare cases when you can’t manage your diet for L-theanine, don’t be afraid to have supplements for anxiety and stress.
  • Polyphenols and antioxidants– Protects you against mental decline and reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease. (26)

Feed your brain item #11: Whole grains

Whole grains are such a great way to improve your brain health.

It contains nutrients like:

  • Vitamin E.
  • Potassium.
  • Folate.
  • Selenium.
  • Iron.
  • B Vitamins.
  • Magnesium.

Grains help your brain with: (27)

  • Better memory.
  • Reduced inflammation.
  • Improved concentration and focus.

Consume grains like brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and whole wheat to get the most out of it.

Feed your brain item #12: Avocados

Avocados are a great source of unsaturated fats.

In addition to that, it also contains:

  • Vitamin K, B, C, and B6
  • Riboflavin.
  • Niacin.
  • Folate.
  • Magnesium.
  • Potassium.
  • Pantothenic acid.

It offers a lot of benefits like:

  • Polish up your memory.
  • Amplify your problem-solving skills.
  • Helps in regulating blood pressure.
  • Decreases the chance of cognitive decline. (28)

Feed your brain item #13: Soy products

Want to avoid meat?

Soybean is the best replacement for it.

It is rich in:

  • Antioxidants.
  • Protein.
  • Folate.
  • Iron.
  • Calcium.

Research says that the antioxidants present in soybean helps in reducing the risk of dementia and improve your cognitive function. (29)

And not just your brain; these antioxidants are beneficial for your overall body.

Feed your brain item #14: Green leafy vegetables

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are great for your brain.

It has:

  • Vitamin K.
  • Folate.
  • Lutein.
  • Beta-carotene.

Research says that these leafy greens help in delaying your cognitive decline and preventing memory loss. (30)

Feed your brain item #15: Olive oil

Olive oil is the best oil for consumption.

Change my mind?

It is lightweight, tasty, and packed with goodness.

Olive oils contain the best fats you can give to your brain and body.

Research says that olive oil can help in: (31)

  • Preventing neurological diseases.
  • Protecting you against the possibility of stroke.
  • Minimizing inflammation.
  • Lessening oxidative stress.

Feed your brain item #16: Beet

Beets are a significant source of nitrates.

Nitrates help in maximizing the blood flow to the brain.

So your brain operates faster and better.

Beet also contains other nutrients like:

  • Fiber.
  • Folate.
  • Manganese.
  • Potassium.
  • Iron.

Beet has a highly pigmented red color which:

  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Protects against premature aging. (32)

Foods that lead to cognitive decline

Some foods help stress relief, while some cause it.

Some foods create a negative impact on your brain, like:

  • Giving way to neurological diseases.
  • Mild cognitive impairment.
  • Influence your mood and memory.
  • Escalate the risk of dementia.

Research suggests that dementia will infect more than 65 million people worldwide by 2030. (33)

As scary as it sounds, you can reduce the risk of dementia by removing certain foods from your diet.

So if you want to improve your brain fitness, reduce the intake of the below-mentioned foods.

Don’t feed your brain item #1: Red meat

Ever felt the heaviness kicking in after you gorged on those juicy red meat steaks?

It’s the high-fat levels doing their job.

Yes, red meat is high in saturated fat and specially processed ones.

Because of the fat content, it poses certain health risks for you, like:

  • Heart strokes.
  • Neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Cause oxidative stress by boosting the stress hormones.
  • Speeds up brain aging.
  • Creates plaque buildup in the brain.

So, if you are looking for better brain health, try cutting down your intake.

By this, we do not mean you have to entirely forego its consumption.

Try to keep it under 12 ounces per week, and you’re good to go.

Research shows that swapping red meat with poultry, fish, and beans can improve your cognitive function. (34)

Don’t feed your brain item #2: Processed foods

Processed foods taste heavenly!

And we can never get enough of them.

But these foods are a sucker for your health and mental function.

Processed foods are considered the worst for your brain memory.

Research suggests that diets containing a lot of fried and fast foods can cause: (35)

  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Worsens memory and learning scores.
  • Deepens anxiety and depression.

If consumed in heavy quantities or regularly, processed foods can increase the risk of heart strokes.

However, consuming these foods once in a while can relieve your stress.

Also, we have good news for you!

There are plenty of other food items that help lower your stress levels in a matter of seconds.

So goodbye stress!

Don’t feed your brain item #3: Excessive sugar

We are all well aware of how bad sugary stuff is for our bodies.

Just to add some more reasons for you to chop down its intake, studies suggest that high sugar diets cause: (36)

  • Brain fog.
  • Risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dementia.
  • Lowers down cognitive performance.

Let’s also understand the daily sugar intake limit.

Do you know the limit varies for both women and men?

It is less than 24g per day for women, and for men, it’s less than 36g per day.

And one 12-ounce can of soda contains a whopping 39g of sugar which is beyond our daily limit.

So, when you get yourself that sugary fruit juice or drink, you are exhausting your daily limit in one go!

Better skip these sweetened drinks and go for slightly sweet or no-sugar drinks or fresh fruit juices. Or even structured water works great for your overall well-being.

Don’t feed your brain item #4: Alcohol

Alcohol is the best gateway to that happy trouble-free world.

Everything seems happy and gala until the next day when your hangover can’t get you out of bed.

And you promise yourself to never drink again!

But the cycle seems to go on.

Well, the same thing happens with each one of us.

And it isn’t a bad thing if you are doing it once in a blue moon; in fact, it lightens your mood.

But regular consumption can hurt your body, brain health, and memory function.

Research says that even moderate consumption causes: (37)

  • A decrease in the grey matter.
  • Cognitive decline.
  • Brain shrinkage.
  • Damage to your metabolism.
  • Disruption of neurotransmitters, the chemical responsible for communication.

Also, people with alcoholism suffer from Vitamin B1 deficiency.

The lack of B Vitamins can cause brain disorders like Wernicke’s encephalopathy.

If not treated timely, this can turn into Korsakoff’s syndrome, the effects of which are:

  • Severe brain damage.
  • Brain fog.
  • Unsteadiness.
  • Eyesight disturbance.

Try swapping junk items with healthy foods

Can you wear the same clothes every day?

Of course not, because it’s boring-Right?

In the same way, your body needs a different variety of foods to keep going.

Don’t just rely on one type of food; eat from a wide variety of food groups.

But it’s easier said than done.

So we decided to develop some easy-peasy diet swap that will improve brain function in no time.

Here they are:

  • Coffee- Swap with herbal or green tea to reduce caffeine consumption.
  • Packed drinks- Drink fresh fruit juices or smoothies instead.
  • Chips and wafers- Go for some nuts.
  • Ice-creams and candies- Yogurt or fresh fruits.
  • Fries and burger- Switch to steaks and salad.
  • Biscuits and cookies- Whole grain crackers

Eating these healthy alternatives boosts brain function and offers better health benefits in the long term.

Most foods that are considered the best for your brain health show results over time like:

  • Slowing down the age-related cognitive decline.
  • Preventing the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease.

Following a healthy diet is a great thing. But…

It’s not the only thing you should rely on when it comes to brain fitness.

Even though you are maintaining a healthy diet, you can’t be sure about the nutrients you’re intaking and if that is enough for your mental well-being. Think of this way— if we ask you how much nutrients do you take daily, can you measure and tell us quickly? And what’s the guarantee they’re working on you when you want the most?

Hard to say, right?

Well, we don’t have any app that calculates your nutrient counts, but we have something amazing which is great for your brain health. Braintap, it is! It’s a Bluetooth-enabled headset that can push your mind to a deep meditative state and reduce cortisol level. Its audio waves complements well with your brain health.

It is great whether you’re a beginner or an expert-level meditation practitioners.

Just using it for 20 minutes can help you with:

  • Improved cognitive abilities.
  • Less stress and anxiety.
  • Positive changes in your thoughts and behavior.
  • Better focus and concentration.
  • Improved sleeping pattern.

What’s better than that?

FAQs

These are a few questions usually asked by people.

What is the number 1 food for your brain?

The best and top-rated food to improve your brain health is fatty fish.

Fatty fish tops the list because it contains vast quantities of omega 3 fatty acids.

The best fatty fishes to consume are:

  • Trout.
  • Salmon.
  • Sardines.
  • Albacore tuna.
  • Herring.

What are the top 7 best foods for your brain?

The top 7 foods that boost your brain and nerve cells are:

  • Eggs.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Fish.
  • Greens.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Apples and plums.

What are the 3 foods that fight memory loss?

The top 3 foods that fight memory loss are:

  • Berries.
  • Fish.
  • Leafy greens.

What are the 14 foods for brain health?

Eat these 14 foods for better brain health:

  • Beans.
  • Broccoli.
  • Berries.
  • Avocados.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Fish.
  • Eggs.
  • Quinoa.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Oranges.
  • Spinach and kale.
  • Sweet potato.
  • Tea.

Brain Health Related post

  1. SleepPhones Review— Calm your brain, sleep like a baby!
  2. Top health hacks— have you taken control over your health yet?
  3. Stress relieving food— your food defines your mental state

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