We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” but did you know that the foods you eat can contribute to your brain’s health, too? By adjusting your diet, you can maximize memory and cognitive function. Consider the importance of these foods for your brain’s health when shopping for yourself and your loved ones.
The Best Foods for Your Brain’s Health
Food powers your body – and your brain – all day long. Choosing the right foods can support your brain’s health and function by reducing inflammation and building brain cells. Here are the best foods to eat to keep your brain healthy.
Fish – particularly, oily fish – is full of omega-3s, which have been associated with improved cognition. A 2017 study suggests that omega-3s may improve brain function, and people with higher omega-3s in their bodies experienced increase blood flow to their brains.
Fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines are all high in omega-3s. Nuts and seeds also have high omega-3 content, so they’re a good option, too.
Craving chocolate? You can indulge that craving. A 2018 study revealed that dark chocolate may be beneficial for your brain. Study participants who ate chocolate with at least 70% cacao underwent brain imaging. The study concluded that this 70% cacao chocolate enhances the brain’s ability to change and adapt for improved health and brain benefits.
Craving an extra cup of coffee? It’s okay. While most people think of coffee as being a drink to wake you up and keep you alert, it has valuable brain benefits, too. A 2018 study found that the caffeine in coffee may help the brain to better process information. Even better, is that a 2016 study found that consuming caffeine or coffee has been associated with preventing cognitive decline as well as reducing the risk of developing stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even mulberries, are rich in antioxidants and have valuable benefits for the brain. A 2014 study found that the antioxidants contained in berries may help to protect human brains against aging. The antioxidants help to reduce inflammation within the body, improve the way that the brain cells communicate, help the brain form new connections and improve memory, and even reduce or delay cognitive decline.
Eggs contain vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folic acid. According to a 2010 study, B vitamins can help to lower homocysteine levels, which is a risk factor for cognitive impairment, dementia and brain atrophy. By lowering these levels, eggs could help to prevent cognitive decline and brain shrinkage.
Everything in Moderation
These foods are great for brain health, but only if they’re consumed as part of a balanced diet. Too much of any one food can have negative effects on your health. If you’re planning to make changes to your diet, it’s best to talk with your doctor first.