Eggs contain choline, which is a great nutrient that helps with brain and heart health. It helps support memory, energy and mood, which is great for our older years. Eggs also contain Lutein which has been associated with eye health and cognition, especially amongst those over 50.
Other than making a great vegan burger, mushrooms are a great brain food. They contain Ergothioneine, which is an amino acid that functions as an antioxidant. It’s properties are beneficial for healthy ageing, reduced stress and cognitive functions. Shiitake and oyster mushrooms have the highest amount of this acid compared to other varieties.
Walnuts are the only tree nuts that are a good source of Omega 3. These fatty acids are important for brain health and also help with inflammation. A study showed that eating between 30-60 grams of walnuts a day for 2 years, might delay cognitive decline in those higher at risk.
Did you know there are different varieties of blueberries? Wild blueberries have been shown in studies to help older adults think faster and be more cognitively aware. The study showed those who consumed wild blueberry powder for 6 months improved, with 75-80 year olds improving the most.
Data has shown that consuming black tea can decrease the risk of cognitive impairment and even dementia. An analysis of 17 studies showed that drinking a little over 2 cups a day may reduce cognitive disorders by 29%. Black tea can also reduce the risk of heart disease due to its packed antioxidants.
Watercress is full of vitamin C and carotenoids, which are potent antioxidants. Vitamin C supports your immune system and bodily health whilst the antioxidants can help support brain function and reduce risks of some neurological disorders. Watercress is a really accessible super food and can easily be grown at home too.
Omega 3 fatty acid is important for brain development and function, which is good news because salmon is a great source of it. Also containing Choline, Iodine and selenium, salmon is a bit of a brain super food, as all those compounds are great for healthy brain and body function.
Oranges are full of nutrients and vitamins, especially those that help with brain function and health. A study by the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition showed that adults who consumed 100% squeezed orange juice every day, for eight weeks, did better on cognitive function tests than those in the control group.
Spinach contains Lutein and folic acids which are helpful for maintaining brain health and cognitive function. A study by ‘Nutrients’, claimed that eating a daily serving of these leafy greens may help support brain health better than avoiding them all together. Spinach can be added to smoothies and juices without altering the taste for a boost of nutrition.
The pink fleshed part of the watermelon actually gets its colour from a compound called Lycopene. This also provides neuroprotective properties due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory side effects. A study from the Journal Of Nutritional Science showed a positive relationship between Lycopene consumption and cognitive function.
If you love a morning coffee, you’ll be happy to hear this news. Both caffeine and antioxidants can help support brain health, which your cup of coffee has in it. We know caffeine gives us that alertness and pep in the morning, but studies have also shown that long-term coffee consumption can be linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Great in curries… but also great for your health. Curcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric, and it has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly benefit brain cells. It’s a potent antioxidant that can help benefit memory and even help with reducing the risks of depression.
We all know broccoli must be good for us, but its on another level. Broccoli is high in vitamin K, which is a vitamin essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s packed into our brain cells. Studies in older adults have shown a link between vitamin K intake and better memory and brain function overall.
Pumpkin seeds make a great healthy snack that’s full of minerals. They’re a great source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, all which help with cognitive function. Zinc is crucial for nerve signalling, and zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions like depression and Alzheimer’s.
Dark chocolate is made up of 70% or more cocoa content, which is where the benefit comes from. Dark chocolate contains Flavonoids that are a group of plant compounds, that can gather in the memory parts of your brain and can help enhance memory or slow down age-related decline.
Other than some caffeine, green tea has other brain boosting ingredients. L-theanine is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and can help reduce anxiety but, by increasing the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, it does not make you tired. It’s also rich in antioxidants and can help protect the brain from disease.
Our bodies need energy to function, but so does our brain. Choosing whole grains over normal, will help you keep alert and more energised for longer without the slump or brain fog after eating big carb dense meals, due to whole grains having a low GI (glycaemic index).
Full of healthy fats and oil, mackerel is rich in protein and vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Vitamin b12 is super important for body repair and nerve cell health, which can directly impact your brain’s function. Mackerel is also full of minerals like selenium and iodine, which directly contribute to brain development and repair.
Full of Lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant, tomatoes make a great healthy snack. Antioxidants can also help protect you against free radical damage to cells that occur in the development of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. They are also rich in vitamin C which will help support the immune system and help prevent catching colds or flu.
Gut health is directly linked to brain health. Probiotics are great for levelling out the bad bacteria with the good in our gut, and contributing to healthy digestion and energy levels. The bacterias found in yoghurt or yoghurt drinks can help with the production of serotonin, which is our happy hormone.
Blackcurrants contain vitamin C which is powerful for the immune system but also for increased mental agility. This vitamin can also be linked to managing levels of anxiety and stress, which not only can affect our moods but can apply pressure to our bodies. Mix these yummy currants into oats or smoothies for a vitamin boost in the morning.
Sage has a reputation of improving memory and concentration, which is perfect for those who use essential oils. The benefits can be found in both oils and meals, so it’s worth trying both methods to see what works for you. Add sage into your meals by adding it at the end of cooking, to help protect the oils inside the plant.
They make a great healthy snack, but can also help your brain and heart. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats and minerals like magnesium and folates. Magnesium is crucial for nerve function and energy production, and folates help develop genetic material in and out the brain.
Avocado toast lovers are celebrating. Avocados contain healthy fats, also known as monounsaturated fats, that have been shown to lower the rates of cognitive decline as well as keep blood sugars steady. Containing both vitamin K and folate, these nutrients can help prevent blood clots in the brain as well as improve memory and concentration.
These root vegetables are some of the healthiest brain foods you can eat, as they reduce inflammation, are high in cancer protecting toxins and can help reduce blood toxins. The natural nitrates also boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance and energy.
Bone broth is amazing for gut health, and in turn, good for your brain. Healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning and help improve memory. Healing your gut and eating foods to avoid inflammation directly affect the brain, and it’s why the stomach is often called ‘the second brain’.
Kale often gets a bad rep for being boring but, when cooked right, it can be really tasty and provide so many health benefits! Kale is dense in vitamins and minerals especially vitamin A and K. Vitamin A is needed for proper organ function, so directly helps with brains health, and vitamin K helps with blood clotting.
For the vegans out there. Soybeans have a compound in them that binds to the receptors in the brain that are important for function and memory. Product trials have shown that there were significant improvements in short term memory, as well as mental flexibility in both men and women, when consuming soybean products.
Celery provides a lot more than just a crunchy low calorie snack. It has high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that can help reduce brain diseases and increase mental agility. Whilst we often only eat the stalks, don’t throw away those seeds and leaves. Add them to broths or stews for extra hidden nutrients!
Coconut oil has literally a million uses, but did you know it’s also good for the brain? It can help suppress cells that are responsible for inflammation, and in turn protect your brain from the risk of diseases such as dementia. It can also help fight off bad bacteria in the gut and help with age related memory loss.
Extra virgin olive oil
This liquid gold is up there with the best brain superfoods due to its powerful antioxidants. It contains both polyphenols and monounsaturated fats, which have been directly linked to cognitive benefits among older adults. The oil may not only improve your memory but could even help reverse age related changes to the brain.
Carnosic acid, one of the main ingredients in rosemary, is a super important acid to have. It can help protect the brain from neurodegeneration and it does this by protecting the brain from chemical free radicals, which are unstable molecules that affect the cells. This can help prevent the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s and strokes.
Often found in tea form, this special root has many health properties. It can help boost energy levels, but without the shaky-ness and edge that caffeine may provide. It can reduce stress and cholesterol levels, which directly improves brain health and function. The herb itself is rich in antioxidants, helping to protect the brain from disease.
Worth its weight in gold for a reason. Saffron doesn’t just create amazing flavour but it’s a super food for mental health. An analysis of 5 studies showed that consuming saffron significantly reduced depressive symptoms in the test groups compared to the control placebo groups. Whilst it may be pricey, if you have the budget try the effects for yourself.
A staple side dish found in Korea, this fermented food is a saviour for gut health. Kimchi is a marinated and fermented cabbage and onion mix, packed with antioxidants as well as essential vitamins. Keeping your gut healthy with antioxidants is important for brain health as the enteric nervous system is located in the gut and communicates with the brain.
Enriched with Omega 3 fatty acids, these seeds make a great addition to smoothies or oats in the morning. They are also a great source of alpha-linolenic acid, which helps the functions of your cerebral cortex. This part of the brain is designed for processing information and memory function.
Sweet and delicious, but also good for us. Strawberries contain a compound called flavonoids, and its what gives them their juicy red colour. These flavonoids also help improve memory. A study by Harvard showed that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries each day, delayed their memory decline by two and a half years.
Tuna can be added to pretty much any meal to add protein but it’s also a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of omega 3 in their diets, had increased blood flow to their brain, linking the fatty acids with higher cognitive function.
Peanuts are a legume that contain plenty of unsaturated fats and we all love a PB and J. They also provide key vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that has protective effects from things such as cancers, inflammation and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Dark leafy green and delicious when tossed in garlic, Bok Choy is a superfood. Full of folate and Vitamins, this veggie can help with cognitive flexibility and reduce memory loss. Folate or folic acid aids in brain function and also helps to regulate emotional health, as well as cell production.