What Foods are Good for Brain Health?
As your body’s control center, your brain should be a top priority when it comes to your health and well-being. Did you know you can boost your brain’s health through what you eat?
Numerous studies have found that certain compounds – antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins – support brain health. As a result, consuming foods that contain these things naturally could improve your brain’s function, improving your abilities in areas like memory and concentration. So, what foods are good for brain health? Here are 10 tasty options to feed your brain.
What Foods are Good for Brain Health?
- Wild salmon – This fatty fish is the highest-quality protein for brain health. It is the richest source of omega-3 fats, which are critical for healthy brain structure and optimal brain function. Salmon is also an outstanding source of magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, choline, and vitamin D. It is important to choose wild salmon as they have 30% fewer calories, half the fat, and a third the amount of saturated fat of farm-raised salmon.
- Walnuts – While most nuts offer brain health benefits, walnuts are particularly rich in brain-friendly nutrients, including B vitamins, amino acids, vitamin E, and a large concentration of omega-3 fats.
- Beans – Beans are a nutrient-dense starch that provide the brain with its preferred fuel: glucose. Since beans are very slowly digested, they produce a steady stream of glucose to stabilize blood sugar and keep the brain sharp throughout the day. They also have magnesium, zinc, fiber, antioxidants, and folate, all essential for brain health.
- Avocados – The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats found in avocados promote healthy blood flow to the brain and support information-carrying nerves in the brain. Avocados are also high in potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure, and folate, which helps prevent blood clots in the brain. Add in the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit, and avocados are truly an amazing food!
- Blueberries – Famous for their antioxidant benefits, blueberries can reverse signs of aging in the brain, improve memory, and help repair and protect cells. Blueberries also provide the brain with a gradual dose of glucose, helping to fuel the brain and prevent brain fog.
- Dark chocolate – In moderation, dark chocolate can be beneficial to your brain. It has high levels of plant antioxidants called flavonoids, which dilate blood vessels, allowing more blood and oxygen to reach key areas of your brain. Chocolate can also help with fatigue, and is one of the only foods that can boost mood, focus, and alertness. However, these benefits are true of dark chocolate only, so be sure to choose chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.
- Broccoli – In addition to antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, broccoli is very high in vitamin K. This fat-soluble vitamin has been found to improve memory, specifically your ability to absorb and remember verbal instructions. The high-fiber levels in broccoli will also help you feel fuller faster.
- Turmeric – The active ingredient in this spice is curcumin, which has been been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to directly enter the brain and benefit the brain cells. It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that can benefit memory, ease depression, and help new brain cells grow.
- Coffee – If your day can’t begin without coffee, we have good news: coffee is good for your brain! It’s two main components – antioxidants and caffeine – offer numerous brain benefits. In moderation, caffeine gives increased alertness, improved mood and sharpened concentration.
Green tea – If coffee isn’t your thing, green tea offers the same caffeine and antioxidant benefits as coffee. It also has specific amino acids that can help reduce anxiety and make you feel more relaxed.
Learn What Foods are Good for Brain Health at Anchor Wellness Center
Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM, helps patients achieve optimal health throughout the body’s systems, including the brain. Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra will use nutritional testing and counseling to guide you on the path to better brain health. Call us today at (832) 246-8437 to schedule an appointment.