An Evidence-Based Guide to Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Focus

Great many people strive to get smarter, but it just might be much easier than you’ve initially believed. You only need to choose the right food to help you with your concentration and enhance your memory.

But choosing the right food with so many food varieties out there can be tricky, as many foods can be harmful to your well-being.

But thanks to scientific research, many nutrient-rich foods that are good for the brain have been identified, hence their name “brain foods.” Such foods include fruits, vegetables, eggs, and fish.

1. Fish

Fish is known for being packed with omega-3 fatty acids rich in nutrients that enhance your brain’s function. Omega-3s are a components of the cell membranes and nerve cells, which is why they are so helpful in keeping the brain cells healthy.

Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties and help with conditions like anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

Fish is also rich in proteins which help produce serotonin and dopamine – two neurotransmitters who aid in improving your appetite and mood. Harvard Medical School experts recommend consuming 12 ounces of fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, or sardines to enhance your brain activity.

2. Eggs

Eggs, like fish, is packed with proteins, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids, but they also contain plenty of tryptophan and choline, which are essential components of serotonin and acetylcholine, respectively.

Acetylcholine helps improve memory, concentration, and learning, and the presence of appropriate amounts of acetylcholine will make you less susceptible to Alzheimer’s. Choline, on the other hand, produces citicoline, a chemical which stimulates blood flow to the brain and breaks down glucose which will result in more energy.

It is a pity that many people avoid consuming eggs as they are also rich in cholesterol, but it has never been proven that eggs are responsible for any heart-related conditions. On the contrary, the lipoproteins in the egg’s cholesterol can, in fact, improve your brain’s health.

Additional foods that are good for your brain

3. Berries

The flavonoid-rich berries give them their bright colors, but are also known antioxidants which help against chronic inflammation, can improve your memory, learning, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, and shelter the brain from radical-induced harm.

Flavonoids also aid the regeneration of brain cells by producing brain-derived neurotrophic factor that may result in neurological issues.

4. Avocados

Avocados are packed with healthy fats that also produce acetylcholine, and are rich in tyrosine which helps produce dopamine. Avocados also stimulate blood flow to the brain and improve nutrient absorption.

5. Kale

Kale, or leaf cabbage, is extremely beneficial as it is rich in nutrients like antioxidants, tyrosine, minerals, and is packed with vitamin C that helps against depression by producing serotonin, while the vitamin K kale contains stimulates verbal memory and functions as a neuroprotectant.

Kale also contains vitamins B6 and B12 that together help enhance your memory, and slow brain aging, brain atrophy, and depression.

6. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of those foods which is both tasty but also healthy for the brain as it is rich in anandamide, sometimes called the “bliss molecule” since it can put you in a good mood.

It is a neurotransmitter that also works as endocannabinoid, which causes a similar response to the psychoactive element tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that marijuana contains as it links to the same receptors.

Dark chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, yet another psychoactive element which causes a euphoric sensation. Chocolate also contains small amounts of caffeine which are known to help with your mood, focus, and memory.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is already known for having neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant qualities, but along with these it has also been found that is almost as effective as Prozac in treating depression. Turmeric includes turmerone and curcumin which improves brain health and produces neurons.

While there many other foods which are healthy for your brain, there are foods, like sugar and trans-fats, that are detrimental for your brain. So, to improve your brain health does not always mean eating the right food, but avoiding the harmful ones.