The natural power of good food to safeguard our health never ceases to amaze me. As my profession and studies challenge me to dig deeper, I see how food can not only keep us healthier for longer, it also helps us be our best selves in more ways that we can imagine.
The foods that we eat can improve how we experience the world on a daily basis. One of those ways is by feeding our brains and senses, which boosts our focus and memory.
The Science of Food Memory
There are many components in some foods that help to improve our brain health. These include:
- Complex carbohydrates: Help give our brain a steady source of energy, since our brain can’t store energy like our muscles can.
- Lean protein: Support brain neurotransmitters, without some of the damaging components some fattier proteins can provide.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids, especially DHA: Help to reduce inflammation and the risk of stroke, heart attack and cancer.
- Antioxidants: Help to prevent brain cell damage.
- Vitamins D and B vitamins: Help to stave off depression and stress.
- Magnesium: Needed for over 300 metabolic functions, including focus, concentration and recuperation from stress.
Now that we know what components are good for the brain, let’s look at the foods that are best at delivering them to you!
6 Foods That Help Your Brain Be the Best It Can Be
Salmon and other fatty fish are notorious for delivering high quantities of EPA + DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids. DHA and EPA are particularly healthy for your brain and nervous system, helping to fight inflammation in a targeted manner. They will help you retain your memory for many years to come.
Salmon also provides lean protein to help build healthy neurotransmitters, helping you retain focus and make connections.
Almonds are a great easy-to-eat snack. They are packed with plant-based Omega-3s and protein, and are also one of the foods highest in magnesium per serving (1 ounce). Magnesium is a must-have mineral for boosting brain focus and concentration, and only about a quarter of people in the U.S. get enough of it.
While eggs had a bad reputation for quite a long time due to their cholesterol levels, science shows that they are actually great for you. They contain complete proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium and many other of the brain-boosting components listed above.
Avocados are filled with antioxidant vitamins and brain-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Eat them frequently, but don’t go overboard, as they are very energy-dense (aka high in calories).
Blueberries are famous for their antioxidant content. They are rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin, a flavonoid antioxidant that will help to fight off cell aging, which can affect your brain’s ability to recall information. Pick wild blueberries for the most antioxidants per serving. They also provide slow-releasing energy to keep your brain fueled.
Broccoli is a wonderfully versatile vegetable, but best of all, its benefits are just as diverse! Broccoli is packed with magnesium and other minerals, and antioxidants to boost your focus and help to release stress.
If you eat balanced meals and a diet packed with foods like the ones mentioned above, you will not need supplements to boost your brain health, especially memory and focus. Helping to keep your cells from aging and staving off inflammation are key to keeping your memory in tip-top shape and focusing on what is important in the moment. Improve your brain health with these six foods!