brain food
brain food

What Is The Best Foods For The Brain

The efficiency of the brain is increased not only by regular intellectual training, systematic studies, passing courses on the development of thinking, etc. The brain also requires its owner to eat appropriate foods rich in beneficial trace elements, through which good brain activity is maintained. Therefore, food for the mind should be understood not only as thoughts, books and conversations on “smart topics”, but also real food. For example, not so long ago, the results of a study were published in the journal Psychology Today, which indicate, firstly, the fact that the brain consumes about 20% of the energy that enters the body with food, and secondly, there are six the most useful products for mental activity.

But before we tell you which brain foods you need to pay attention to, it will not be superfluous to remind you that it is not recommended to be zealous with their use. The fact is that they, just like medicines, can be harmful if you eat them in excessive amounts. So, for example, citrus fruits and sour berries should not be eaten in kilograms, especially if there are problems such as gastritis, ulcers and increased acidity of gastric juice. And cabbage, beets, spinach and even chocolate, as well as foods that contain vitamin C in excess, are contraindicated for people with urolithiasis and intestinal inflammation. Fatty fish can also be attributed here – dishes with it should not be abused by those who suffer from peptic ulcers or some blood diseases. For this reason, even a “smart” diet must be approached responsibly and carefully.

Now, after such a brief warning, it’s time to start talking about what products help improve brain function.

The most useful foods for the brain

To begin with, we will talk about the “hot six” of those (it is they who are mentioned as a result of the study of the above-named American publication).


This dried fruit is high in vitamin C and iron. Thanks to iron, the work of the left hemisphere of the brain, which, as you know, is responsible for analytical thinking, is stimulated. And vitamin C contributes to better absorption of this element. Experts recommend eating at least three dried apricots a day.


Despite the fact that some people may not like this product, and some people may not like it at all, it is very useful for the brain. In particular, it helps to preserve the youth of nerve cells and stimulates the cognitive activity of the main organ of the human body.

Cabbage and Beets

As for cabbage, red is the most useful. It is a source of polyphenols – special antioxidants that prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. It is very useful to eat cabbage in combination with green onions, carrots and a sauce based on olive oil and balsamic vinegar. In fact, this is a real salad for the brain.

And if we talk about beets, then it abounds in betaine – a substance that improves mood, reaction, well-being and the ability to concentrate. It is best to eat raw beetroot grated into a salad and seasoned with vinegar and olive oil.


More about cranberries. This berry is considered one of the best sources of antioxidants that resist free radicals in the body – the most harmful elements that destroy cells. The bottom line is that in the molecules of free radicals, one electron is missing, for which reason they tend to take the missing part from some other element. As a result, a person develops all kinds of diseases, for example, atherosclerosis. So: the antioxidants contained in cranberries bind free radicals together, which prevents the destruction of cells and blood vessels. It is also important that cranberries minimize the negative effects on the brain of a stroke.


blueberry isolated on white background

A wonderful blueberry prevents premature ageing of brain cells because it is also rich in antioxidants. In addition, if you eat it regularly, the improvement in brain function will be manifested in faster thinking and assimilation of the knowledge gained. Another significant plus is that blueberries contain the necessary trace elements to improve hearing and vision. By the way, raspberries and blackberries have similar properties.  However, keep in mind that you need to buy berries only in trusted places, being sure that they were grown without the use of chemicals and other harmful substances.

A fish


Of course, fish such as anchovies, cod, sardines, tuna and salmon were not on this list. This fish is characterized by a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids involved in the metabolism in the brain, increasing use and reducing harmful cholesterol. Among other things, sea fish is rich in phosphorus, which improves tissue respiration.

Salmon is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on the interaction of brain cells. And this, in turn, has a positive effect on brain activity in general, including the performance of various functions: from controlling limbs to solving arithmetic problems.

Cod is rich in selenium, which improves mood and prevents depression, as well as increases efficiency. It is very useful to cook cod dishes and serve buckwheat and boiled vegetables as a side dish.

Let’s also talk about anchovies containing dimethylethanolamine. This element prevents mental fatigue, increases the ability to concentrate and allows you to better master new knowledge and master new skills.

So if you include the above six foods in your diet, you can be sure that brain function improves beyond any doubt.

Other Healthy Brain Foods

Below we bring to your attention a list of other products that improve brain function:

  • Hen. If you are a chicken breast lover, know that by doing so, you are making stronger not only your body stronger and your brain. Chicken meat contains vitamins B2, B6 and B12, which strengthen the nervous system, improve memory and prevent insomnia and depression.
  • Veal liver. This product also boasts the content of B vitamins. We talked about their benefits a few seconds ago, so if you want to improve brain function, cook liver dishes and add greens to them, and you can use a glass of dry red wine as an aperitif.
  • Shrimps. They contain vitamin D that everyone needs. Its importance lies in the fact that a deficiency leads to a bad mood and impaired cognitive functions of the brain (by the way, you can learn to develop cognitive functions on your own ), and in special cases – to Alzheimer’s disease and even schizophrenia.
  • Mussels. Together with other shellfish, they contain a lot of zinc and vitamin B. These elements improve the transmission of nerve impulses in the body and have a beneficial effect on the work of those areas of the brain that are in charge of sleep, instincts, memory and attention.
  • Red beans. It serves as an excellent source of carbohydrates and proteins, plus it normalizes blood sugar, which is extremely important for improving brain function. Make a salad from such beans because it is not difficult at all, and it can serve as an excellent alternative to an afternoon snack.
  • Green peas. This product will help you avoid such troubles as a bad mood, memory impairment and attention because it contains vitamin B1 and thiamine. Moreover, green peas are useful in any form: canned, frozen or fresh.
  • Eggplant. Their main value is in the peel, because. It contains anthocyanin – an excellent antioxidant that helps maintain a sufficient level of fat in the brain cells. Eat eggplant – and your brain will be better protected from damage.
  • Seaweed. The presented seaweed is recognized as one of the leaders in iodine content. Its proper amount in the body makes the nervous system more stable, relieves irritability, prevents memory disorders and depression.
  • Carrot. It contains beta-carotene known to all of us, which slows down the ageing process and prevents the destruction of cells produced, as we have already understood, by the action of free radicals.
  • Avocado. Its use in food normalizes blood pressure, and it, as established by scientists, is directly related to cognitive functions. So thanks to the avocado, the pressure will be normal, and the improvement in brain function will be achieved.
  • Grape. It doesn’t matter which grape you prefer: black or white – any of them contain the polyphenol epicatechin, which increases blood flow to the brain and has a good effect on memory. And in black grapes, in addition to epicatechin, anthocyanin is contained, which we talked about when we talked about eggplant.
  • Kiwi. It’s not for nothing that this hairy fruit got the name “vitamin bomb”. It contains a lot of vitamin C, which actively fights free radicals, which improves memory and decision-making ability.
  • Sea salt. In it, as well as in sea kale, there is a lot of iodine. We have already mentioned the importance of this element, but here we will only point out that if you want to get a good effect from using sea salt, make sure to use it within three months from the date of purchase and opening the pack because iodine evaporates very quickly.
  • Whole wheat bread. It is no less useful than cereal food, for example, porridge with bran or muesli and wholemeal flour. The outer shell of the grains contains many vitamins, including B vitamins that improve brain activity. Remember that there is no benefit in ordinary flour because when it is made, the shell is completely peeled off the grains.
  • Oatmeal. Many recognize that oats are an extremely healthy cereal. The reason for this is its beneficial effect on blood circulation and the benefits derived from the B vitamins contained in it in large quantities.
  • Pumpkin seeds. And in general, pumpkin seeds contain a whole range of essential trace elements that are beneficial to the body. These are zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Nuts. Among the most useful are walnuts, almonds and pistachios, because they make a person really smarter. There is even a legend according to which the priests of Babylon did not allow mere mortals to eat nuts. They were afraid that they would grow too smart. And the “fault” is the high concentration of iron, phosphorus and fatty acids. 
  • Bitter chocolate. The feature of bitter chocolate is that it is made from cocoa beans, and they are rich in magnesium, a trace element that improves memory. Imagine the benefits of dark chocolate with nuts! But keep in mind that you need to eat this particular type of chocolate, because. In other sweets, there is very little cocoa, but there is an excess of sugar and butter.
  • Sage. The well-known botanist John Gerard mentioned the benefits of sage in 1597. He claimed that sage strengthens nerves, improves memory, and is generally very useful for brain function. However, his conclusions were confirmed by modern research conducted by Newcastle University in the UK.
  • Green tea. If you use brewed powdered green tea leaves as a drink (at the same time absorbing the leaves themselves), you can thoroughly stimulate your nervous system, activate brain processes and solve tasks more productively. But it is not necessary to grind the tea leaves into a powder – traditional green tea is also quite suitable. And the drink you just learned about is called matcha.
  • Coffee. The fact that caffeine is an excellent stimulant of the nervous system has long been known. Therefore, we will only add that it increases the speed of decision-making protects the nervous system from the effects of cholesterol, toxins and harmful microorganisms. 
  • Water. And finally, we got to the water. In general, we have a good article on the benefits of water, but it is worth mentioning that its daily use helps to remove harmful substances and toxins from the body, normalizes blood circulation, improves digestion and supplies the brain with the right amount of oxygen.

Now you know which brain-healthy foods to include in your diet. But remember that proper nutrition is not a guarantee that the improvement in brain function will be achieved, and it will function as you need. It is extremely important that you also provide yourself with physical activity and the brain with active thinking because without regular training, you will simply get used to being passive and doing nothing, and it will be much more difficult to shake it up.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you solve crosswords, solve puzzles, play chess and logic games, read more, write, learn poetry, gain new knowledge and master unusual skills, train your memory, and, of course, master different thinking techniques. So keep your intellect and body in good shape, lead a healthy lifestyle and eat right, then your brain will serve you for many years and will never let you down.

About Zahid Shaukat

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