- Oily fish
Oily fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help build membranes around each cell in the body, including the brain cells. They can, therefore, improve the structure of brain cell
Examples of oily fish that contain high levels of omega-3s include:
- sardinesls called neurons.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains cocoa, also known as cacao. Cacao contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.
Antioxidants are especially important for brain health, as the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases.
Berries contain flavonoid antioxidants. Research suggests that these may make the berries good food for the brain.
- Nuts and seeds
Eating more nuts and seeds may be good for the brain, as these foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. A 2014 study found that a higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age. Nuts and seeds are also rich sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
- Whole grains
Eating whole grains is another way to benefit from the effects of vitamin E, with these grains being a good source of the vitamin.
Coffee is a well-known concentration aid — many drink it to stay awake and encourage focus.
Coffee is also a source of antioxidants, which may support brain health as a person gets older. One study has linked lifelong coffee consumption with reduced risk of:
- cognitive decline
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
A source of healthful unsaturated fat, avocados may support the brain.
Eating monounsaturated fats may reduce blood pressure, and high blood pressure is linked with cognitive decline.
Thus, by reducing high blood pressure, the unsaturated fats in avocados may lower the risk of cognitive decline.
Peanuts are a legume with an excellent nutritional profile. They contain plenty of unsaturated fats and protein to keep a person’s energy levels up throughout the day. Peanuts also provide key vitamins and minerals to keep the brain healthy, including high levels of vitamin E and resveratrol.
Enjoyed by many for breakfast, eggs can be an effective brain food. They are a good source of the following B vitamins:
Recent research suggests that these vitamins may prevent brain shrinkage and delay cognitive decline.
As well as being a low-calorie source of dietary fiber, broccoli may be good for the brain.
Broccoli contains vitamin C and flavonoids, and these antioxidants can further boost a person’s brain health.
Leafy greens, including kale, may support brain health. Like broccoli, kale contains glucosinolates, and leafy greens also contain other key antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This is why many consider kale to be a super food.
- Soy products
Soybean products are rich in a particular group of antioxidants called polyphenols.
Research has linked polyphenols with a reduced risk of dementia and improved cognitive abilities in regular aging processes.