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14 Foods That Boost Brain Health and Functions

Boost Brain Health
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Your brain is one of the most important organs in your body. It controls every function of your body, from breathing down to defecation.

It even controls your thoughts and action. Even while you sleep at night, your brain never sleeps. It works all through your entire life. Such a hardworking and important organ like this has to be well taken care of.

The human brain depends heavily on oxygen, water, and nutrients. In this post, we will be focusing on foods and nutrients that benefit your brain and improve its health and functions.

Table of Contents

Foods That Are Good For Your Brain

Whole grains

Whole grains

Whole grains are high in vitamin E and other brain-protective nutrients and phytochemicals. Whole grains you should include in your diet are brown rice, whole grain pasta, barley, whole grain bread, bulgur wheat, and oatmeal.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish

This tops the lists of super brain food. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a super nutrient for the human brain. 60% of your brain is made of fats and half of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids.

This nutrient slows down age-related cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s disease. It increases the gray matter in your brain. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that regulate emotions, memory, and decision making.

The deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to learning impairment and even depression.

Fatty fish include wild-caught sardines, trout, and salmon. Aside from brain health, omega-3 also improves your general health.

Avocados

avocado close up colors cut
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This is a rich source of unsaturated fat and they support brain health. This monounsaturated fat reduces blood pressure and boosts brain health and functions.

High blood pressure increases the risks of cognitive decline, so taking avocado supplies your body with monounsaturated fats which reduce high blood pressure.

Other sources of mono-unsaturated fats are nuts and seeds, oily fish, flax and chia seeds, peanuts, cashews, and almonds.

Coffee

cup of aromatic cappuccino served on marble table
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Moderate consumption of coffee is good for your brain. It boosts alertness, mood, and even increases concentration. It reduces the risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

This can be credited to the high amount of antioxidants present in coffee.

Green Leafy vegetables

Healthiest Vegetables

Leafy veggies like kale, spinach, waterleaf, moringa, etc. are all good for brain health. They contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals.

All these scavenge free radicals and protect your brain.

Blueberries

Blueberries

This excellent fruit has many health benefits and brain health is one of them. Not only blueberries but other deeply colored berries are superfoods for the brain because they contain anthocyanins.

They are dense in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and anti-inflammatory compounds. These protect your brain against oxidative stress and inflammation.

These conditions trigger brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of the antioxidants found in blueberries are stored in the brain and they aid communication between brain cells.

Berries also improve memory, prevent memory loss, and delay age-related memory problems.

Turmeric

Turmeric

This popular root herb has gained popularity due to its immense health benefits and your brain health is not left out. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and it benefits the brain immensely.

Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain where it will benefit the blood-brain barrier. It is a powerful antioxidant with an anti-inflammatory effect.

It improves memory, even in people with Alzheimer’s. It removes the amyloid plaques that are responsible for these diseases. Curcumin also relieves depression.

It does this by boosting the levels of dopamine and serotonin which are responsible for happiness and positivity. Curcumin also helps your brain grow new brain cells.

It multiplies brain cells by boosting brain-derived neurotrophic factors. This growth hormone is responsible for growing new brain cells. Turmeric also delays age-related mental decline.

Broccoli

bowl of sliced broccoli
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This humble vegetable is packed full of powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants that not only boost your brain health but your overall health.

It is dense in vitamin K and this fat-soluble vitamin is needed for forming sphingolipids. This fat is densely packed into brain cells. Studies have shown that a higher intake of vitamin K improves memory.

91 grams (1 cup) of broccoli contains more than 100% of your RDI.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds

These seeds are loaded with powerful antioxidants. They protect your brain and whole body from damages caused by free radicals. Pumpkin seeds are also dense in copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium.

These nutrients are important for brain health. Copper is used by the brain to control nerve signals. Deficiency of copper leads to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Zinc is highly needed for nerve signaling, a deficiency in this essential nutrient causes depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and many other neurological conditions.

Iron deficiency causes impaired brain functions and brain fog. Magnesium supports learning and memory. The deficiency of magnesium causes depression, epilepsy, migraines, and a host of neurological diseases.

Taking pumpkin seeds regularly will increase the levels of these micronutrients in your body.

Cocoa powder

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

This and dark chocolates are full of brain-boosting nutrients like flavonoids and antioxidants. Flavonoid boosts learning and memory, and they also slow down age-related mental decline.

Cocoa powder and dark chocolate boosts mood, promotes positivity,

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds

Eating nuts don’t only improve the markers of heart health, they also boost brain health. They prevent neurodegenerative diseases and improve cognition.

Nuts make your memory sharper because they are dense in antioxidants, vitamin E, healthy fats, and other powerful phytochemicals,

Vitamin E protects your brain cell membranes from damages induced by free radicals thereby slowing the rate of mental decline. Walnuts top the list of nuts good for the brain because it is dense in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.

Seeds also like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. are equally good for brain health.

Vitamin-C rich fruits and veggies

photo of orange near lemon
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A medium-sized orange each day gives you your RDI of vitamin C and this nutrient is very important for brain health. It prevents mental decline and neurodegenerative conditions.

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C fights off free radicals that damage brain cells. It also protects your brain as you age. Rich natural sources of vitamin C are oranges, red bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, and guava.

Eggs

Organic eggs are good for the brain, (conventional eggs are not advisable). There are lots of essential nutrients in organic eggs that are beneficial to the brain.

They include choline, folate, Vitamin B6, and B12. Choline is used to create acetylcholine in the body, this neurotransmitter helps in the regulation of mood, memory, and improves mental functions.

Organic egg yolks are highly concentrated in choline. Single organic egg yolk contains 112 mg of choline. Women need 425 mg per day while men need 550 mg per day.

By organic eggs, I mean eggs gotten from birds allowed to roam freely, they eat their natural foods and are mated by their male counterparts.

They are restricted to a room or cag where all manner of growth hormones, antibiotics, and unnatural foods are given to them. And they also do not lay eggs mysteriously without mating with a cock.

B vitamins are other wonderful nutrients found in organic eggs. They reduce the progression of age-related mental decline in elderly people.

Deficiency in B12 and folate leads to depression, dementia, and increases the risks of age-related mental decline. B12 also helps the brain to synthesize brain chemicals that regulate the levels of sugar in the brain.

Green tea

Green Tea

Green tea has many wonderful phytochemicals that boost brain functions and one of them is caffeine. Aside from coffee, it has L-theanine, an amino acid capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

This amino acid increases the activities of GABA, a neurotransmitter that relaxes you and reduces anxiety. It increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain and this helps you relax well without feeling tired.

L-theanine also counteracts the stimulating effects of caffeine. Green tea is also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that protect your brain from damage, free radicals, and mental decline.

Green tea has been proven to improve memory.

You will be protecting your brain and improving its health and functions by incorporating these foods into your daily diet.

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