Brain Food or Cognition Nutrition

We all know that what we eat affects our bodies and our minds.  We might also realize that ideal brain function depends on the consumption of certain vitamins/minerals and can benefit from other functional components found in foods.  However, we may not know what foods are highest in these beneficial compounds or we may not be making the effort to consume these foods as regularly as we could. 

 

Here is a list of 10 foods or drinks that can boost the brain:

 

  • Blueberries and strawberries

    • High antioxidant capacity, anthocyanidins, flavonoids

    • Can improve learning, protect the brain from oxidative stress, and reduce the risk of dementia

  • Wild salmon and other oily fish

    • Omega-3 fats with EPA and DHA

    • Can improve memory, decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve overall brain function

  • Fruits, such as grapes, apples, and oranges and pomegranate juice 

    • Anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, phenols, flavanols, flavanols, or flavanones

    • Can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Spinach

    • Variety of vitamins and minerals, including high levels of magnesium, antioxidants

    • Can improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain

  • Beets 

    • Nitrates, antioxidants

    • Can improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain

  • Whole grains with soluble fiber

    • Beta-glucan fiber, vitamin E

    • Can improve brain function

  • Lentils, beans, peas, and other legumes

    • Soluble fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

    • These components are protective to the brain and arteries

  • Nuts and seeds

    • Fiber, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, selenium, folate, alpha-linolenic acid, phenols, lutein, zeaxanthin, and other nutrients

    • Can improve brain function and working memory

  • Coffee and Tea

    • Contain caffeine, phenols, flavonols, or flavanols

    • Can improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

  • Dark Chocolate (70% or more cocoa content)

    • Flavanols

    • Can improve blood flow and brain function, as well as decrease the risk of dementia

 

This is not a complete list of all of the foods that can benefit the brain.  A few other foods that you might consider:  avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, eggs, oysters, and wine!  Please keep in mind that portions also matter here, so more does not always mean better, especially when it comes to total energy intake!

 

There are many types of diets out there, but many of them are focused on weight loss and not necessarily on what we can do to benefit our brains.  A great body deserves to have a great brain to go with it!  The brain is very important to us for so many reasons, so we should do what we can to give it the foods that will enhance and preserve it for as long as possible! 

 

Comment on what you will eat more frequently in order to boost the brain!

 

 

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