5 Foods That Boost Brain Function.

5 Foods That Boost Brain Function. The Last One May Surprise You!

Kristine Keane, Psy.D.

Our brain is arguably the most important organ we have. It controls bodily functions such as breathing and heart rate, and empowers us through motion, thinking, and feeling. A healthy brain enables you to have a clear mind, concentrate, remember, feel joy, and live life purposefully.   

We don’t often think about the health of our brain unless something goes wrong, such as mild memory loss or if we injure our brain by stroke or concussion. If these things occur, we go in search of how we can make things better or get back to our status quo.   

Good cognitive health is largely influenced by our nutrition. One of the best things that you can do to improve brain function is to eat more unprocessed whole foods, like the ones that are found on the perimeter of the food store.  These foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plain dairy, eggs, meats and fish.  Real foods, like plant-based foods, are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help you sprout new brain cells as you age. 

Studies show that people who eat about one and a half cups of fruit and vegetables a day perform better on cognitive tests than people who do not.  In addition, people who consume large amounts of sugar are more likely to develop mild cognitive decline than those who do not. 

The good news is that the foods that boost brain health are delicious! Below is a list of the top five foods you can incorporate into your daily diet that will not only make you feel good but can also improve your mind.  

Grab a Handful of Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the best fruits you can consume to boost your memory! 

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli are packed with nutrients which boost cognitive functions. But don’t forget to help yourself to a daily handful of berries! Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are loaded with antioxidants which can potentially slow age-related decline in memory as well as other cognitive functions.  Studies also show that consuming blueberries can reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.   

Enjoy Some Fatty Fish

Fish is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids which are well known brain boosters.  Since our body is unable to produce these fatty acids, you need to consciously fit these little guys into your regular diet. Experts say that you should eat five ounces of omega-3 rich fish, such as salmon, cod, haddock, tuna or halibut, at least two times per week.   

 If you are not a fan of fish, you can always take supplements from your local grocery store. Omega- 3 fatty acids are also found in walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and soybeans.  Try to eat some every day. 

Spice it Up with Turmeric

Turmeric has been in medicine for many years due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties that come from curcumin. Turmeric is packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation in your brain as well as the rest of your body. In addition to turmeric, consider herbs and spices like cinnamon and ginger that are also bright in color and robust in flavor, and offer similar benefits to your brain. 

Indulge in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. They also improve blood flow to the brain and reduce inflammation.  The darker the chocolate, the better. You will get the most benefit from chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa solids or higher. Interestingly, eating unsweetened cocoa powder offers the greatest benefit. 

Surprise… Don’t Forget the Carbs 

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Many of us have learned to fear eating carbohydrates due to the rise in low carb and ketogenic diets. However, carbohydrates themselves don’t cause weight gain. Rather, an inability to metabolize carbohydrates causes weight gain. We need carbohydrates for our brains to function properly. 

Complex carbohydrates contain glucose, which our brains need for energy. Without glucose, we would not be able to perform daily tasks or have proper memory function.  

Complex carbohydrates help you to maintain a healthy weight because they are less likely to be converted into fat, and they keep blood sugar levels low. They are found in foods like berries, whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes and even beans. Research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fish, complex carbohydrates and leafy green veggies helps maintain brain health over your lifetime and reduces memory decline risk. 

Incorporating these brain-boosting foods into your diet can not only enhance cognitive function and overall brain health but also inspire a lifestyle centered around nourishing your body and mind.

Dr. Kristine Keane, a clinical and sports neuropsychologist, is widely recognized for her profound expertise in brain health. Drawing on extensive experience, she is passionately committed to enhancing cognitive and emotional well-being.


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