7 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain

A glass of water.
As simple as it may sound, staying hydrated is actually good for the brain. (Image: Luchschen via Dreamstime)

Keeping the brain in good working order has a great impact on your daily life. These 7 brain foods are simple components of a daily diet that will keep it healthy. Keep in mind that for the fruits and vegetables listed, frozen are just as good as their fresh counterparts which will save on the grocery bill.

7 brain foods

1. Blueberries

The leader among foods with antioxidant ingredients is blueberries. Studies have shown that adults at risk of dementia not only improve their memories and moods, but they also have better fasting blood sugar values after eating blueberries for 12 weeks. It’s not necessary to eat only blueberries to improve brain health. The anthocyanins in many berries are also great brain foods. You can enjoy other fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, black currants, mulberries, and so on. They protect the brain, allow it to resist oxidation, and prevent degenerative diseases.

2. Chocolate

Dark chocolate is the best choice for health as it contains less sugar. (Image: Aoleshko via Dreamstime)

Eating chocolate at least once a week can improve cognition. However, in order to avoid excessive intake of refined sugar, which harms the body, dark chocolate is the best choice. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa powder, so choose chocolate that has at least 80 percent or more cocoa powder. If you are okay with the bitter taste, chocolates with more than 85 to 90 percent cocoa powder are even better.

Cocoa powder contains the mineral magnesium, which is lacking in 80 percent of the population today. Magnesium deficiency makes one prone to sleep disturbances, migraines, emotional instability, and chronic fatigue syndrome. You can eat dark chocolate, enjoy the taste, and supplement your magnesium. Drinking hot cocoa is fine too, as long as you don’t add too much sugar.

3. Dark green vegetables

Spinach, mustard greens, bok choy, and kale are rich in nutrients such as vitamin K, lutein, folic acid, and beta carotene, which also help the brain. Studies show these nutrients help maintain proper brain function and slow cognitive decline. Eat as much as possible and eat various seasonal vegetables too.

4. Walnuts

The omega-9 oils in walnuts makes them a great brain food. (Image: Valentyn75 via Dreamstime)
The omega-9 fatty acids in walnuts make them great brain food. (Image: Valentyn75 via Dreamstime)

The walnut, which looks like a brain, really complements the shape that has a shape similar to its own. For the brain, the most important nutrient contained in walnuts is oleic acid. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid that preserves cognitive abilities in the elderly. Walnuts are a great after-school snack for children. Oleic acid makes myelin, which is used by the brain to protect the transfer of information between neurons. Without this protection, brain processing is slower and there is a loss of information. This makes walnuts and the omega-9 fatty acid in them a great brain food.

In addition to walnuts, you can also eat sunflower seeds, avocado oil, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts. If you want to prevent brain fog, whether it is caused by COVID or chronic fatigue, good oils are your most reliable little helpers to clear the clouds and see the sun.

5. Almonds

If the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain is low, people’s memory will be relatively poor. In a published study additional doses of an almond suspension significantly increased the results people received when taking memory tests. What has a lot of acetylcholine and is convenient to eat as a snack? The answer is almonds. Other foods that provide a good supply of acetylcholine are tofu and other nuts, including pistachios, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.

6. Whole grains

The vitamin B in whole grains may keep dementia away. (Image: Elena Schweitzer via Dreamstime)
The vitamin B in whole grains may keep dementia away. (Image: Elena Schweitzer via Dreamstime)

Whole grains include unrefined grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, buckwheat, oats, and quinoa, which still retain the complete nutrition grains provide. Whole grains are brain foods because they can be rich in vitamin B, which is a key raw material to ensure that brain neurotransmitters can be produced. Vitamin B plays an important role in the smooth conduct of information between neurons and reduces the risk of brain neurodegeneration.

7. Water

Every cell in the human body contains a lot of water; we are at least 60 percent water after all. Staying hydrated is really very important. Insufficient water content in the body not only weakens cognition and judgment, but can also trigger emotions such as panic, depression, and rage. If you are not in a happy mood, perhaps you are in a state of chronic dehydration.

Dehydration also leads to inaccurate judgment and abnormal reaction times. A study has shown an increase in traffic accidents in people who were dehydrated. The number of driving errors was the same as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, the legal limit in many places. When going on a long drive, even though you might need to make more stops, staying hydrated is important.

Translated by Patty Zhang

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  • David Jirard

    David was born in the Midwestern section of the U.S. during the turbulent sixties. At an early age he took an interest in music and during high school and college played lead guitar for various local bands. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology, he left the local music scene to work on a road crew installing fiber optic cable on telephone poles in various cities. After having to climb up a rotted pole surrounded by fencing, he turned to the world of I.T. where he now shares laughter with his wife and tends to his beehives in between writing articles on Chinese culture and social issues.