NUTRITION

Top 7 Best Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory!

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

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
November 15th, 2021
10 mins read

Your brain uses 20% of the body’s calories and weighs 2% of the body’s weight [1]. 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 [2] 

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 Diet: 15 Foods You Should Eat

Fish 

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 [3]. 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 [4]. This is why oily fish are important brain-boosting foods to include in your diet.

Eggs 

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.

Coffee 

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

  • Cognitive decline 
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke [5] 

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 [6].

Berries

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 [7]. 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 brain

Broccoli 

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: 

  • Almonds 
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Hazelnuts 

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: Why a Healthy Diet Plan is Crucial to Maintaining Good Health

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.

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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