Fruits That Improve Memory are Blueberries, bananas and apples which are among the best fruits to improve memory. Fruits are a delicious way to increase memory function and to slow down ageing. Many of the fruits that I will mention below can easily be integrated into smoothies. If you don’t have time to consume them on their own, try throwing the following fruits into your next smoothie:
Brain Foods to Boost Focus and Memory
While we’ve always known that what we eat affects our bodies and how we look, scientists continue to uncover evidence that what we eat plays a huge role in the health of our brains. Yes, when it comes to staying mentally sharp and focused, eating plenty of brain foods matters, especially for our gray matter.
The gut and the brain are tightly connected, and when we focus on giving our bodies whole, nutritious foods, we help take care of both.
Which foods are best for your brain? Among the top brain-healthy foods are fruits, veggies, oils and even chocolate (yes, chocolate!). There’s something to please everyone!
What Is a Brain Food?
Brain foods are those that are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They provide your brain with energy and aid in protecting brain cells, which helps ward off development of brain diseases.
How exactly do healthy foods for brain function aid in mental health? Once way is by supporting gut function and a healthy inflammation response.
A number of important hormones and neurotransmitters are created in the gut and are then able to enter the brain, which influences cognitive abilities, such as understanding and processing new information, plus memory and concentration. This means that a well-functioning gut is essential for sending the brain the kind of chemical signals that keep help us functioning at our best.
A poor-quality diet can cause our bodies to release more inflammatory cytokines, which studies show can contribute to inflammation that can wind up damaging the brain.
While inflammation helps protect us against illnesses and repairs the body when you do something like cut yourself, chronic inflammation is a different animal. It’s been linked to a number of mental/cognitive conditions, including dementia, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, among other age-related issues.
Top 15 Brain Foods
What are the top brain foods? Below are foods for brain health that experts recommend regularly including in your diet to help stave of age-related cognitive decline:
While avocados often get a bad rep because of their high fat content, it’s important to note that these green powerhouses are packed with monounsaturated fats or the “good” kind, which have been shown to lower rates of cognitive decline and keep blood sugar levels steady.
Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke), as well as help improve brain functions related to memory and concentration.
They’re also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, which aren’t stored in your body and need to be replenished daily. Plus, they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. Not too shabby!
Avocados’ creamy texture makes them a smart addition to smoothies and a replacement for fats in baked goods, or try these brain foods in one of these 50 amazing and easy avocado recipes.
Beets are root vegetables and some of the most nutritious foods for the brain that you can eat considering they help reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants and help rid your blood of toxins.
The natural nitrates in beets actually boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. Plus, during tough workouts, beets actually help boost energy and performance levels. Try them in this borscht recipe.
3. Blueberries + Other Berries
Proving that great things do come in small packages, blueberries and other berries (like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.) are fruits that experts recommend consuming daily. That’s because they’ve got so many great benefits while tasting like an all-natural candy!
For starters, blueberries are one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods known to man, including vitamin C and vitamin K and fiber. Because of their high levels of gallic acid, blueberries are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration, cognitive decline and stress.
Get your daily dose of brain berries in an omega blueberry smoothie or in a healthy blueberry cobbler.
4. Bone Broth
Bone broth is the ultimate food for healing your gut and, in turn, helps heal your brain. This ancient food is full of benefits, ranging from boosting your immune system to overcoming leaky gut, improving joint health and overcoming food allergies.
Its high levels of collagen help reduce intestinal inflammation, and healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning properly and help improve memory.
Bone broth is what I prescribe most frequently to my patients because it truly helps heal your body from the inside out. You’ll also be surprised at how simple and economical it is to make at home with my beef bone broth recipe.
5. Broccoli + Other Cruciferous Veggies
Your mom got it right when she told you to eat your broccoli. Along with related veggies like cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts, broccoli is one of the best brain-healthy foods out there thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, which can help keep your memory sharp.
It’s also loaded with vitamin C — in fact, just one cup provides you with 150 percent of your recommended daily intake. Additionally it contains a number of phytonutrients that protect brain cells against oxidative stress.
Broccoli is high in fiber too, meaning that you’ll feel full quickly. If you’ve only chowed down on overcooked, tasteless broccoli, you’ll love my crockpot beef and broccoli, creamy broccoli soup and broccoli pesto dip — they’ll turn you into a broccoli lover fast!
For a vegetable with such few calories (just 16 per cup!), celery sure does offer a lot of benefits. Its high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides act as natural anti-inflammatories and can help alleviate symptoms related to inflammation, like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome.
Because it’s so nutrient-dense — packing loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients with very little calories — it’s a great snack option if you’re looking to shed pounds. While we often eat celery stalks, don’t skip the seeds and leaves. Both provide extra benefits and taste great in things like stir fries and soups.
Not sure where to begin with eating more celery? Try my easy ants on a log or refreshing super hydrator juice recipes.
7. Coconut Oil
With so many coconut oil uses, there’s almost nothing that coconut oil can’t help. When it comes to your brain, it can help suppress cells that are responsible for inflammation. It may also help with memory loss as you age and fight bad bacteria that hang out in your gut.
Coconut oil and related MTC oil are also two of the most popular fats for people following the ketogenic diet, which research suggests may offer benefits related to reduced Alzheimer’s risk due to ketone bodies having a neuroprotective impact on aging brain cells..
Get your dose of coconut oil in this coconut crust pizza. Real coconut milk and coconut flakes also provide healthy fats and even some fiber for gut support, too.
8. Dark Chocolate
Not all chocolate is created equal. In fact, dark chocolate can actually be very good for you!
Chocolate is chock-full of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show cocoa can increase cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood oxygenation — plus it can help lower blood pressure and oxidative stress in the brain and heart.
But don’t go wild munching on Hershey’s Kisses just yet. Most of the chocolate you see on supermarket shelves is highly processed and is not considered a great food for the brain.
The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the more perks it offers.
Skip milk and white chocolates, and opt for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa. This ensures you’ll get your cocoa fix and its brain benefits!
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these dark chocolate almond butter cookies or chocolate-covered berries.
9. Egg Yolks
On the nutritional naughty list for years, egg yolks are finally experiencing their well-deserved day in the sun. If you’ve been having only egg whites, the yolk’s on you.
Yolks contain large amounts of choline, which helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women. It also breaks down bethane, a chemical that produces hormones related to feelings of well-being.
If you’ve kept away from consuming eggs whole because of cholesterol concerns, there’s good news. Studies show that eating eggs typically has no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and might, in fact, help raise good cholesterol levels.
It’s also one of the most inexpensive sources of protein out there. Just be sure you buy organic, free-range eggs.
Need some egg-spiration? I love these baked eggs and spinach and breakfast salmon egg bake. For even more ideas, try whipping up one of these delicious egg recipes.
10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Real extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is among the top recommended brain foods due to powerful antioxidants that it provides known as polyphenols, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. It’s a staple ingredient in the Mediterranean diet and the related MIND diet, which studies show are two eating patterns that are associated with cognitive benefits among older adults.
Including EVOO in your diet may not only improve learning and memory, but also reverse the age- and disease-related changes. The oil also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s.
As great as extra virgin olive oil is, remember that it’s not a good option for cooking, as it hydrogenizes and begins decomposing at high temperatures. The best way to get your fill is by having it cold or at room temperature.
I love extra virgin olive oil as part of zucchini noodles with marinara sauce and quinoa tabouli
A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert shares the 5 foods she eats every day to sharpen her memory and focus
As a dietitian, I always tell people to think of the brain as the mastermind behind almost everything — our thoughts, memory, focus, movements, breathing, heartbeat — and that certain foods can help make it stronger, sharper and smarter.
Our brain and diet also play a key role in longevity. According to the National Institute on Aging, what we eat can directly impact inflammation and oxidative stress in our bodies — both of which can affect our risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
I spoke with Dr. Uma Naidoo, a nutritional psychiatrist, faculty member at Harvard Medical School and author of “This Is Your Brain on Food,” about what she eats to sharpen her memory, focus and overall brain health:
“Extra dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and cacao flavanols that help preserve the health of brain cells,” Naidoo tells CNBC Make It. “It also contains fiber to help reduce brain inflammation and prevent cognitive decline.”
A 2020 study looked at how dark chocolate and white chocolate can affect the memory of healthy young adults. Participants who were given dark chocolate had better verbal memory performances two hours after consuming the chocolate, compared to the group that received white chocolate.
Researchers suggested this was due to the higher flavonoid content of the dark chocolate, “which can acutely improve cognitive function in humans.”
Extra dark chocolate should be at least 70% cacao or greater, according to Naidoo.
Just don’t go overboard with the serving sizes, she says: “One meta-analysis suggests that the optimal amount of dark chocolate consumption for the health of our blood vessels — including the ones that supply blood to the brain — is about 45 grams per week.”
“Berries are packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals,” says Naidoo. “These nutrients help retain memory, and the fiber content helps feed microbes in the gut to reduce brain inflammation.”
She suggests choosing from an assortment of red, blue and black-colored berries. Strawberries, for example, are rich in flavonoids and may help slow down cognitive decline; blueberries contain different types of flavonoids linked with preventing oxidative stress; and blackberries are great sources of antioxidants, which help brain cell health.
“Eating a variety of colorful berries can also reduce symptoms of anxiety and help fend off neurodegenerative diseases like dementia,” says Naidoo.
She typically goes for a half or single cup in her daily serving.
The bright yellow-orange root is not only a staple in Indian cooking, but it contains a magical compound called curcumin.
Annmartianova80 | Twenty20
One of the major ingredients in curry powder, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is the secret behind its brain-boosting benefits.
“Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance,” says Naidoo. “Consuming it, studies have found, can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and lower cognitive decline with age.”
Turmeric is good solo, but the benefits can be stronger when combined with black pepper. Naidoo always adds “a pinch of black pepper in turmeric because piperine — the compound in black pepper — activates the curcumin and increases the bioavailability to the brain and the body.”
You can incorporate turmeric and black pepper into your diet by adding it to a hearty rice dish, a side of potatoes, a golden milk latte or some oatmeal.
Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health
Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into your golden years. There are certain foods that improve memory, work wonders in reducing inflammation in the brain, and increase focus.
I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter. But first, check out Lifehack’s free guide for focus: End Distraction and Find Your Focus. It will help you learn how to focus on what’s important, which you’ll need once the following foods help your brain develop a longer attention span.
Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:
1. Nuts and Seeds
One stud was able to link higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.
If you want to up your intake of vitamin E, Nuts like walnuts and almonds are good sources. Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.
Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.
When it comes to foods that improve memory, blueberries have been shown to offer great brain benefits and are great memory-enhancing foods. One study on older adults found that those who drank blueberry juice showed improvement in paired associate learning and word list recall
When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits that can offer improved cognition.
Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients. Tomatoes are also great because you can sneak them into just about anything, including sauces, salads, and meat dishes as a side.
While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.
Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage, and antioxidants help eliminate this threat, so many foods that improve memory include these antioxidants.
Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter, and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function. Specifically, vitamin K is “involved in sphingolipids metabolism, a class of lipids that participate in the proliferation, differentiation, and survival of brain cells.”
5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids
Your brain is the fattiest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory
The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids, so we must get them in our diet.
Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.
Do You Know You Only Have About 2,000 Weeks Left in Life?
We only have about 4,000 weeks in life, and if you’re in your mid-life, you only have about 2,000 weeks left.
Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory. Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.
Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.
7. Dark Chocolate
When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants, which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging, making it one of the tastiest foods that improve memory.