Your brain is kind of a big deal.
As the control center of your body, it’s in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel, and think.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
This article lists 11 foods that boost your brain.
1. Fatty fish
When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list.
About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids (2).
Omega-3s also offer several additional benefits for your brain.
In general, eating fish seems to have positive health benefits.
Some research also suggests that people who eat fish regularly tend to have more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory, and emotion (9).
Overall, fatty fish is an excellent choice for brain health.
Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against cognitive decline.
If coffee is the highlight of your morning, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s good for you.
Two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — can help support brain health.
- Increased alertness. Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you feel sleepy (11, 12).
- Improved mood. Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as dopamine (13).
- Sharpened concentration. One study found that caffeine consumption led to short-term improvements in attention and alertness in participants completing a cognition test (14).
Drinking coffee over the long-term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The largest risk reduction was seen in those adults who consumes 3-4 cups daily (10, 15).
This could at least be partly due to coffee’s high concentration of antioxidants (16).
Coffee can help boost alertness and mood. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its content of caffeine and antioxidants.
Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for your brain.
Blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (17).
Antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that can contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases (18).
According to one review of 11 studies, blueberries could help improve memory and certain cognitive processes in children and older adults (20).
Try sprinkling them over your breakfast cereal, adding them to a smoothie, or enjoying as is for a simple snack.Read More