Brain health and physical health go hand in hand. Your brain cells need nutrients to do their job, which influences every other process in your body.
A healthy diet helps you stay more active, balanced, and focused throughout the day, but it also has long-term effects. Eating well in early to mid-adulthood can help prevent many aging-related problems.
Brain foods are foods that support brain health through healthy fats, vitamins, and nutrients.
If you're struggling with brain fog or trying to improve mental health, consider adding some of these brain foods to your diet.
6 Superfoods for Brain Health
While there are many great superfoods to add to your diet, we’ve compiled this list for their specific nutrients that can support the brain.
1. Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, broccoli, collards, and more make up the hearty leafy greens group. You’ll find all of the members of this food family in the best super greens powder blends. Packed with folate, lutein, and beta-carotene, they may be able to slow cognitive decline and support healthy brain function as you age.
With so many preparation options, it’s easy to incorporate leafy greens into your diet, even if you aren’t the biggest fan of raw salads. Consider adding a cup or two to a smoothie, blending up some green juice with apple or banana, or using them as a bed for grilled chicken, tuna, or salmon.
Berries are a quick snack and a great dessert topping. They also make a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or granola, thanks to their rich flavor and anti-inflammatory properties.
Another reason berries (like blueberries) are beneficial to brain health is their high flavonoid content. These are compounds in plants that give them their color, but they also do great things for the people who eat them.
Early-stage animal research suggests that flavonoids may prevent the build-up of the protein linked to certain illnesses; additionally, flavonoids can help reduce inflammation, which leads to better nutrient distribution and improved cellular regeneration.
There are many different types of flavonoids out there, and red, blue, and purple berries contain anthocyanins. This type of flavonoid is especially good at reducing inflammation, which can aid cognitive abilities and memory.
Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do they fight inflammation, but they may also be able to improve cognitive function and help with major depressive disorder. Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy, unsaturated fats that contribute to better cognitive function. They may aid memory and age-related cognitive decline.
In addition to enhancing memory, getting enough of these fatty acids can also improve your mood. Not a fan of salmon? Canned light tuna works well, too. And if you don’t like oily fish at all, you can eat some walnuts or avocados for similar benefits.
A great way to boost the brain benefits of salmon is to pair it with leafy greens. Not only do they make a tasty combo, but they also increase your vitamin and nutrient intake! It will instantly improve the nutrition of your meal with less prep work!
4. Dark Chocolate
Who said all healthy food has to be a fruit or vegetable? You can savor the subtle sweetness of high-quality dark chocolate and potentially get some brain benefits as well.
It may seem like candy to us, but dark chocolate is really a plant-based food. With a composition of 70% cocoa or higher, it features flavonoids that have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Reduced inflammation throughout the body can improve nerve signaling, the process nerve cells use to communicate. Research has found that dark chocolate helps some people perform mental tasks better. For example, a longitudinal study of 968 participants aged 23 to 98 found that dark chocolate’s flavonoid content increased cognitive function.
So, the next time you’re in the mood for a healthy dessert, enjoy some dark chocolate on its own or add it on top of a low-sugar yogurt with some berries on top.
The famous immune-supporting fruit isn’t just good at fighting off the common cold. Oranges also help cognitive function thanks to the antioxidant powers of vitamin C. The greatest way oranges assist with cognitive status is by fending off free radicals. These unstable atoms can harm cells and tissues.
Too many free radicals in the brain can put you at a higher risk of memory impairment and neurodegenerative disorders.
For older adults, an orange a day may be the secret to maintaining a healthy brain and memory performance. For younger adults, you can incorporate oranges into your diet to help brain function and potentially lower your risk of cognitive decline in the future.
In addition to being a healthy snack, orange wedges also taste delicious as a sweet addition to a savory salad full of leafy greens and crunchy, hydrating cucumbers.
6. Green Tea
It may be classified as a beverage, but since it’s originally a plant, we’re counting green tea as one of the best brain foods to help slow cognitive decline.
With less caffeine and more antioxidants than coffee, it’s no wonder so many people make the switch. You don’t have to give up your beloved brew to enjoy the health benefits of green tea, though.
Drinking one 8-ounce cup can provide a nice dose of antioxidants and aid focus. While it helps lower inflammation, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can help support a more stable mood and stress levels.
In one study, researchers found that L-theanine was especially helpful in cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults. Just be careful when drinking a lot of green tea since too much can push your caffeine consumption to a higher level.
Why You Should Consider Trying a Greens Powder
The hustle and bustle of life often makes it challenging to include these healthy foods in your everyday diet. That's where the best greens powder comes into play. Loaded with the concentrated goodness of nutrient-rich leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli, these powders ensure your brain never runs low on essential nutrients.
Stir it into your morning smoothie or sprinkle it on your lunch salad for a healthy boost. Opt for the best greens powder to help brain fog, cognitive function, and providing your body with the nourishment it craves.
There are plenty of ways to nourish your mind and body at once with foods that are good for brain health and memory. What’s more, finding fun ways to prepare them can help you continue to support cognitive wellness without getting bored of the same old tastes.
If you struggle to get your daily dose through diet, why not opt for a brain-boosting smoothie with a scoop of one of the best super greens powders? It’s an easy way to deliver the nutrients, vitamins, and compounds your brain needs to do its best work.