Though it’s hard to place levels of importance on various systems in the body, it is clear that your brain (along with your heart) is as the top of the list. This hardworking organ deals with an incredible amount of information each day and gives you the ability to think, reason, and move. It seems like something you should look after, right?
These 15 foods can help protect your brain health, increase memory, and slow age-related mental decline. Plus, most of them have other incredible health benefits as well which makes adding them to your diet a no brainer.
Just in case you needed another reason to love it, research has found that the flavonoids in chocolate can help enhance memory and slow down age-related mental delicate. In fact, one study showed that people who ate dark chocolate frequently performed better on mental tasks than those who didn’t eat chocolate often.
Though not as universally loved as chocolate, properly prepared broccoli can be delicious and is incredibly nutritious as well. It is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin K, which has been linked to better memory.
Though caffeine is a hotly debated substance, researchers have found that coffee consumption could help decrease the risk of cognitive decline, stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Caffeine can also help increase mental alertness and even increase the brain’s ability to handle new information.
Wild, fresh-caught salmon is a nutritional powerhouse. It is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are critical for brain function. Plus, it can help reduce inflammation and is a great source of healthy protein.
Eat a handful of blueberries each day to boost your antioxidant intake and help improve your memory capacity. If you are looking for a delicious type of fruit to add to your diet, berries are the way to go.
Walnuts have been linked to improved cognitive test scores due to their omega-3 fatty acids and other brain-boosting minerals and vitamins. Eat a handful as a snack or mix them into greek yogurt with berries for a mentally stimulating breakfast.
Though they don’t look like much, pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and powerful antioxidants. These nutrients are each critical for brain health and work together to stave off neurodegenerative diseases and other mental health issues including depression.
Oranges are pretty much famous for their immune-boosting capabilities. However, that’s not all that vitamin C is good for. According to one review of studies, eating foods rich in vitamin C could help reduce age-related mental decline and fight off free radicals that attack brain cells.
Properly cooked eggs are a serious contender for one of the healthiest (non-vegetable) foods. They are rich in vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline. Choline is important because your body uses it to create a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating mood and memory and has been linked to increased mental function.
Kale and other leafy greens such as spinach and arugula impact the entire body in astonishing and beneficial ways. Therefore, it makes sense that this superfood would have a great impact on the brain as well. Kale contains critical antioxidants, minerals, and key vitamins that many people are lacking. All of which are essential for brain health.
Saying that something is loaded with fat isn’t always a good thing. However, in the case of avocados, this is healthy, unsaturated fat. This fat and avocados, in particular, can help reduce blood pressure, which has been linked to a decreased risk of cognitive decline.
If you’re not a fan of coffee or simply want to fill your mug with one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, then it’s time to brew a piping hot cup of green tea. This earthy tea can improve alertness, mental performance, memory, and increase focus. The primary star of green tea is L-theanine, an amino acid that can help you relax and hone a clear mind.
Though it may stain your wooden spoons and your fingernails, adding a little turmeric to your diet is well worth a few yellowed dishes. It is an incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to help improve memory, ease depression, and even help new brain cells grow. In order to reap the full benefits of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) combine it with freshly ground black pepper.
Unrefined, whole grains eaten in moderation can help reduce the risk of heart disease. This impacts the brain because the heart is the center of all blood flow. When your heart is operating efficiently, your brain and the rest of the systems in your body can as well.
Buy fresh, 100% pomegranate juice from the store with no added ingredients to help boost brain health. Pomegranate is an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants, however, eating the seeds isn’t exactly an effective way to reap the benefits of this colorful fruit. Enjoy a small portion of this natural juice each day, instead.