Are there really foods that boost the memory? Foods that increase brain power?
Our brains are a big powerhouse that controls our day to day activities. Along with the spinal cord, they are called the central nervous system.
That simple means that they are central to everything we do. They control all our thoughts, movements, feelings, reactions and so much more.
The brain cells are so complex as they control and regulate thousands of functions such as circadian rhythms, hormone balance, blood flow, unconscious and conscious activity.
Even when you’re sleeping, the brain is still at work.
These activities make our brain consume a lot of fuel. It consumes more than 20% of our daily calorie intake. This is why we need to provide super foods for the brain cells for optimum function.
The foods we eat are either bad or good for the brain and the central nervous system. Foods play a key role in brain health and can improve specific cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration.
So in a bid to fuel your brain thereby making it more powerful, this article lists 10 foods that can improve brain health and memory as well as the entire nervous system. Relax, read and enjoy 🙂
Avocados are one of the healthiest foods for the brain. Although high in fat content, their monounsaturated fats are important for brain development (1).
Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, they increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol and aid in the absorption of antioxidants.
About 60% of the brain is made up of fat, omega-3 making up half of the fat (2).
Avocados are also rich in vitamin K and folate which help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke). This helps improve cognitive function, especially memory and concentration.
Additionally, they contain vitamin E which is an antioxidant vitamin, which helps protects the brain from inflammation and from free radical damage.
If you call this vegetable superfood for the brain, you are not wrong. This vegetable is packed with powerful antioxidants as well as plant compounds (4).
Not only that, it also has high level of vitamin K, delivering more than 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) (5). This fat-soluble vitamin is vital in sphingolipid formation – a type of fat that is densely packed in the brain cells (6).
Beyond that, broccoli is also high in a compound called sulforaphane, a chemical that aids in detoxification, reduction of inflammation and control of damage by free radicals (7).
3. Coconut Oil
When it comes to brain health, coconut oil is another important food for the brain.
Coconut oil is a rich source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that the body uses for energy, leaving glucose for the brain.
In addition to that, it also works as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, suppressing cells responsible for inflammation. It also provides saturated fats which are essential for maintenance of brain cells integrity and membrane (8).
Turmeric is getting a lot of attention these days.
The active ingredient of this yellow spice; curcumin, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there (9).
Tumeric also does a good job in keeping the bad cholesterol away in your body system.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to many brain health benefits.
Blueberries are power-packed with brain-protective antioxidants which are necessary for brain health (10).
They contain a plant compound known as anthocyanins which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (11). This makes them potent in reducing inflammation, which contributes to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders (11).
Make an effort to add this one to your diet to boost your brain power and memory.
6. Dark Chocolate
Not all chocolates are the same, but dark chocolate contains brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants.
These flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Eggs have a reputation for being high in cholesterol, but it is also a good source of several nutrients necessary for brain health, including vitamin B6, B12, folate, and choline (14).
Studies show that higher intake of choline is linked to better memory and mental growth (17, 18). On the other hand, the cholesterol in eggs serves as an important component of brain cell membrane (19).
Nevertheless, many people do not get enough choline in their diet and eating eggs could be an easy way out.
In addition, folate and vitamin B12 have several roles in brain health. Being deficient in these vitamins has been linked to depression (20).
Nuts like walnut, almond, and the rest are rich in a variety of nutrients that support brain health.
Particularly, they are rich in vitamin E, omega-3 fats, copper, manganese, and fiber for brain support. (21) A review shows that nut consumption can improve cognitive function and help prevent neurodegenerative disorders (22).
Another research shows that women who ate nuts on a regular basis for several years had a sharper memory compared to those who did not eat nut at all (23).
In addition, nuts are also rich in omega-3 which helps in building brain cells and nerve cells.
9. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds play host to powerful antioxidants that protect the brain from free radical damage (26).
They are also a rich source of several minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper (27).
Zinc is nerve signaling and as such plays an important role in memory and overall brain function.
Wild-caught salmon like other fatty fishes can be considered as brain-friendly foods. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help in proper brain functioning and improve memory.
There are so many foods that can keep your brain healthy.
Some foods on this list have been proven to support brain health and boost alertness, memory, and mood.
By strategically including these brain foods in your diet, you are sure to get your brain functioning at its optimal level.
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