10 Foods to Boost Your Brain Naturally

Sydney McAvoy
10 Foods to Boost Your Brain Naturally

Feeling groggy, unfocused, anxious, or just “off” lately? It may be time to switch up your diet to better boost your brain function! You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat;” this can be especially true when it comes to your brain. Try incorporating these ten foods into your diet for a natural brain boost!

Are the Foods You Eat Connected To Your Brain?

Your brain health is connected closely to the foods you eat. Similarly, the food you eat contains vital nutrients for your brain health, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Diet affects your gut health as well, which can influence your brain function, mood, and rate of cognitive decline. In addition, recent research has even shown a close link between depression, anxiety, and diet quality. With the mounting evidence of the impact of diet on brain health, incorporating nutrient-rich brain foods is essential! While there are many foods important for brain health, these 10 foods have been shown in research to be effective brain-boosters.

Brain Foods

Fatty fish

Fatty fish like salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, sardines, and mackerel are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. Did you know that about 60% of your brain is made up of fat? Omega-3 fats are essential to build nerve and brain cells, and provide protection against damage. Research suggests that Omega-3 fats may also slow cognitive decline, prevent Alzheimers disease, and even improve symptoms of anxiety and depression! Omega-3’s may also improve your memory and mood, which could drastically improve your day to day, especially if you have a lot on your plate. So, next time you’re planning your meals for the week, pick a recipe using one of these fatty fish!

Coffee

While you may have heard conflicting things about coffee and your health, research actually shows an overwhelming positive effect of coffee consumption on long-term health, unless you are overly sensitive to caffeine. That’s good news for those of us who can’t get through our morning without a cup of joe! When it comes to your brain, coffee may boost your “feel-good” neurotransmitters and help sharpen your concentration. Coffee also contains antioxidants, which may help reduce your risk of long-term neurological diseases!

Green tea

Green tea is another beverage you may reach for in the morning to help you wake up. Good news for green tea drinkers- research has shown an overwhelming benefit to drinking this tea daily! Green tea may help reduce anxiety, improve memory and focus, and even improve your ability to think critically and learn.

However, the benefits of green tea seem to decrease with the decaf version of the drink. The combination of caffeine and another substance found in green tea, called L-theanine, seems to provide the full array of brain benefits. Stick to a caffeinated tea if you really want to experience the natural boost in brain function that comes with drinking green tea!

Blueberries

Want a simple way to improve your focus and mood throughout the day? Snack on blueberries! A component of blueberries called polyphenols has been shown to improve memory, critical thinking, concentration, and even creativity. Blueberries anti-inflammatory properties may even help protect against long-term neurological diseases. Throw some blueberries in your oatmeal in the morning, have a snack of blueberries and walnuts, or blend blueberries into a brain-boosting smoothie!

Dark chocolate

Good news for any chocolate-lovers: dark chocolate is packed with brain-boosting antioxidants! Dark chocolate may improve your memory, slow down mental decline, and improve overall mood. One study even found that dark chocolate consumption can make up for declines in mental function due to sleep deprivation. Have 1-2 squares of high quality dark chocolate for dessert and reap the brain-boosting benefits!

Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient-packed powerhouse, containing many nutrients crucial for brain health, including choline, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate. These nutrients are a crucial part of several neurotransmitters, may help ward off depression, improve mood, and even improve critical thinking skills. 

Fun fact- many of the nutrients in eggs can be found in the yolk!

Green, leafy vegetables

Known as “superfoods,” green leafy vegetables are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, folate, and Vitamin A. These nutrients have been shown to slow cognitive decline and reduce inflammation associated with mental decline. Try throwing spinach or kale into a smoothie, or roasting broccoli as a side for dinner.

Walnuts

You may have heard of the heart healthy benefits of nuts, but did you know that nuts can support your brain health as well? Walnuts contain Vitamin E and a type of omega-3 fatty acid called ALA, both of which can reduce inflammation in your brain. Walnuts may even reduce cognitive decline as you age! Enjoy walnuts as a filling afternoon snack, top oatmeal or yogurt with them, or throw them on top of salads for a crunchy addition.

Pumpkin seeds

These nutrient-packed seeds contain brain-boosting antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron. These nutrients can help ward off long-term neurological diseases, improve memory and your ability to learn, and are even involved in nerve function. If you are feeling “foggy,” a lack of one of these nutrients may be to blame! Throw pumpkin seeds on top of oatmeal or yogurt, into a salad, or use as a crust for meat or fish.

Fermented foods 

Have you heard of the gut-brain connection before? Recent studies have shown that your gut health affects your brain health and vice versa. One often-overlooked way to boost your brain health is to boost your gut health. Fermented foods contain healthy bacteria that can improve the bacterial colony of your GI tract, and therefore, improve your brain health. Incorporate foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented vegetables, and even cheese!

Which of These Foods Will You Be Trying?

In conclusion, eating these 10 foods to your diet can improve focus, critical thinking, creativity, and slow cognitive decline related to an aging brain! For additional brain-boosting ideas, Vessel’s app has a wealth of tips to improve your focus, mood, and energy. For personalized recommendations to boost your brain health, sign up with Vessel today. Which of these 10 foods will you incorporate into your diet?