Top Best Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health


9 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Dark chocolate is one of the best food for memory and learning
  • Fish, eggs, berries, nuts, and broccoli are brain-boosting foods
  • Vitamin E and Vitamin K are nutrients that promote brain health

Your brain uses 20% of the body’s calories and weighs 2% of the body’s weight. Did you know that the brain requires nutrients to function properly? Some essential nutrients that promote brain function are: 

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids 
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc 

As it is a control center of your body, you should keep your brain in peak working condition. The food you eat impacts the structure and health of your brain.

There are certain brain foods that improve memory, concentration, and overall functioning. Having these can help you enhance your brain health. To know what they are and how these brain-healthy foods help, read on.

Additional Read: Heart Healthy FoodsHeart Healthy Foods

Even though we might not give our brains much thought, the fact remains that thinking, moving, and going about our daily lives all require a lot of energy. And for our brain to function efficiently, it needs enough fuel.

20% of the daily calories we burn, on average, are burned by the brain [1]. That doesn't mean eating anything will make your brain work better. Some are significantly better than other foods that increase brain power for it to perform at its best—staying focused and maintaining a strong memory.

It's best to meet the majority of your needs for brain health through your regular daily diet. A diet containing B vitamins, particularly B6, B12, and B9, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, Curcumin, and Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy brain.

Below we have listed down a few best brain foods:

Leafy greens

Leafy greens are beneficial for you, particularly for your brain. You name it: kale, collard greens, spinach, these vegetables are full of brain-enhancing vitamins and minerals like beta-carotene, folic acid, lutein, and vitamin K. Another study suggests that eating foods that we get from plants may be particularly beneficial for preventing cognitive decline [2]. Eating leafy vegetables is good food for the brain.


Because of their high lycopene content, tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods for the brain. This potent carotenoid's ability to prevent cognitive disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's got proven. One can get Lycopene in tomato sauces, pastes, and ketchup. One medium fresh tomato has about 3.2 milligrams of it [3].

Whole grains

A balanced diet must include whole grains that support cardiovascular health. Examples of such grains include whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, and brown rice. A less well-known fact is that many whole grains contain a lot of vitamin E, a vital antioxidant that protects the nervous system by lowering the number of free radicals in the body. Whole grains are a good choice for increasing vitamin E intake. Experts recommend consuming Vitamin E in its natural form rather than through supplements [4].

 Best foods for brain health

Salmon and tuna

Even though one might have a habit of avoiding fatty foods, fish has healthy fat. Omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in fish like salmon and Tuna have several advantageous health effects, including those for the brain. These beneficial fats are linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid. This harmful protein accumulates in the brain as clumps, which frequently cause Alzheimer's disease.


Regarding food good for the brain, your spice rack is probably not the first place you think to look. However, turmeric, a key ingredient in curry powders, is not to be overlooked if you want to promote mental health. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has a variety of positive outcomes for brain health, ranging from Alzheimer's prevention to brain cell growth support.

Coconut Oil

There are a lot of uses for coconut oil, so it has a lot of benefits. For example, it helps suppress cells that cause inflammation. It may also help with memory loss and fight harmful bacteria in your gut.

Coconut oil and its related MTC oils have prominent fats essential for the ketogenic diet. According to research, these fats can lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease because ketone bodies have a neuroprotective effect on ageing brain cells [5].


Although avocados frequently receive a bad rap for having a lot of fat, it's important to remember that these green powerhouses have monounsaturated fats or the "good" kind, that maintain stable blood sugar levels and slow the rate of cognitive decline. Avocados also aid in preventing blood clots in the brain, thereby preventing stroke. They also help enhance memory and concentration-related brain functions because they contain vitamin K and folate. Vitamins B and C are also abundant in Avocados, which your body cannot store and replenish daily. Additionally, they are the fruit with the highest protein and lowest sugar content.


Beets are the healthiest root vegetables for the brain because they help lower inflammation. The antioxidants present in the beet fight cancer and help clean your blood of toxins. This food improves brain function. Natural nitrates in it improve blood circulation to the brain, enhancing mental function. Beets also actually help to grow energy and performance during demanding workouts.


Oily fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and include: 

  • Salmon 
  • Mackerel 
  • Sardines 
  • Tuna
  • Herring 

Your brain is made up of 60% fat and around half of it is omega-3 fatty acids. This acid helps build brain and nerve cells and is necessary for learning and memory. Research suggests that people with high levels of omega-3s have increased blood flow in the brain, cognition, and thinking abilities. This is why oily fish are important brain-boosting foods to include in your diet.


Eggs are a food good for brain as they are a good source of: 

  • Vitamin B-6 
  • Vitamin B-12 
  • Folic Acid
  • Choline 

Vitamin B found in eggs helps slow mental decline in older adults. Choline, an important micronutrient needed by your body, helps regulate mood and memory. Studies link choline to better mental functions too.


A study reported that coffee consumption is linked with a reduced risk of: 

This may be because it has caffeine and antioxidants that support brain health. Caffeine can increase your alertness and focus by blocking adenosine, a chemical that makes you sleepy. It can improve your mood by boosting feel-good hormones such as dopamine. A study reported that your brain’s information processing ability increases with the intake of caffeine too.


Some of the antioxidant-rich berries are: 

  • Strawberries 
  • Blackberries 
  • Blackcurrants 
  • Mulberries
  • Blueberries 

These berries are brain foods that contain flavonoid antioxidants good for your brain. A review found that antioxidants in berries improve communication between brain cells, reduce inflammation, and boost learning and memory. Some antioxidants in berries include caffeic acid, anthocyanin, catechin, and quercetin. Apart from being brain-healthy foods, berries provide numerous other health benefits too.

foods to avoid for healthy brain infographic


Broccoli is a rich source of Vitamin K. It offers more than 100% of its recommended daily value. Vitamin K helps to improve memory and cognitive function. Broccoli is full of plant compounds including antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These properties may help the brain against damage. This low-calorie green vegetable is great for your brain. Your body breaks down glucosinolates found in broccoli to produce isothiocyanates which further may lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and oxidative stress.

Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate is the best food for memory and retention of information. It contains 70% or more of cocoa content whereas milk chocolate contains between 10-50% of cocoa. Cocoa contains plant compounds named flavonoids. They work to boost learning and enhance memory. They also help slow down age-related mental decline. As per research, flavonoids boost memory and learning by encouraging neuron and blood vessel growth [8]. Researchers have found that those who eat chocolate regularly perform mental tasks better. This is a great reason to start eating dark chocolate! Chocolate is also a mood booster food that increases positive feelings.

Nuts and seeds 

Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamin E that helps against oxidative stress. Some of the nuts and seeds with a high amount of vitamin E include: 

Supplements for brain function

Some people start taking supplements besides changing their diets to enhance their cognitive function. Do these supplements boost brain power?

If someone lacks any nutrients, supplementing with beta-carotene, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, or E may help them function better mentally. These supplements are not likely to increase mental performance in people who do not have a deficiency.

Ginseng supplements may enhance this performance. However, more research is required before physicians advise ginseng to improve brain function.

A study found that consuming more nuts leads to better brain function in old age [9]. Another study linked vitamin E to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improved cognitive abilities [10].

Additional Read: Best Diet Plan for Weight Loss

Now that you know what they are, include food good for brain in your diet. Eat healthy food for memory and concentration. Leave unhealthy lifestyle habits behind and get enough sleep for your brain to work better. To address symptoms like lack of focus, book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. Consult a specialist to know the best brain food and get tips to boost your mental health too.


What is the most effective brain food?

It includes eggs, blueberries, avocados, spinach, sardines, salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, green tea, and chocolate. All these foods that improve brain function are also scrumptiously delicious.

Which drink is good for the brain?

Green tea is an excellent beverage for brain health. Caffeine boosts alertness, antioxidants protect the brain, and L-theanine aids relaxation.

What are the three foods that fight memory loss?

Berries, fish, and leafy green vegetables are foods good for memory.

Which fruit is best for the brain?

Vitamin C is abundant in some fruits, including oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries. These are the foods that boost brain power. It improves overall brain health and helps in avoiding harm to brain cells.  

Is banana good for the brain?

A large banana contains 37 milligrams of magnesium [6], a mineral that aids in the electrical activity of your brain's nerve cells. It is the best food for brain recovery.
Published on 15 Nov 2021Last updated on 20 Mar 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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