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7 Best Brain Foods

It’s no secret that your brain is the most important organ in your body and without it, we wouldn’t be able to function.  There are certain foods that you can eat in order to help your brain function at a high level.  There are also certain foods that help memory, concentration, and overall brain function.  Here at PürMedica, we have compiled a list of just some of the fantastic foods that help your brain.

1. Bananas

Not only are bananas a great, healthy snack option, but they also have been shown to help the brain function at optimal levels.  Bananas contain small amounts of vitamin B6, which can help with cognitive function.  In addition, bananas are also a great source of magnesium, which has been shown to eliminate ammonia build-up in the brain, which can negatively affect mood and brain function.  

2. Nuts and seeds

Most nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E.  Studies show that sufficient intake of vitamin E can help prevent cognitive decline, specifically in the elderly.  A couple nuts that would be great are walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds seeds, flax, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini.

3. Eat plenty of vitamins

Certain vitamins, most notably vitamins B-6, B-12, and folic acid have a significant amount of the amino acid, homocysteine.  Elevated levels of homocysteine are often linked to increased risk of stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.  Studies have shown that increased consumption of B vitamins can significantly reduce the shrinkage in the brain.

4. Blueberries

Research shows that consuming blueberries is effective in improving and delaying short-term memory loss.  Blueberries have also been found to help prevent the brain from stress, and may work to reduce the effects of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  Aim to add at least 1 cup of blueberries a day in any form to get optimal benefits.  

5. Avocados

Avocados are nearly as good as blueberries when it comes to brain health.  They are rich in non-saturated fat, which leads to healthy blood flow in the brain.  In addition, avocados can also help lower blood pressure, which can also reduce risks for hypertension or stroke, and can permanently damage brain tissue. Avocados also contain a fatty acid called oleic acid, which can help to build myelin.  Myelin helps information travel to the brain faster.  Something to note is that avocados are high in calories, so be careful with the amount that you consume.

6. Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids are important in cognitive function and salmon has a plethora of those fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids are also good for the heart, joints, and can simply improve your well-being.  Low levels of these fatty acids in the blood have been linked with smaller brain volume and worse performance on tests of mental function.  There are other oily fish that can provide benefits of Omega-3’s, and they are sardines, trout, and herring.  These fish contain EPA and DHA, the two key omega-3 fatty acids, and low DHA levels have been linked to high risks of Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Try to eat one 4-ounce serving, two to three times per week.  

7. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate can be good for you, in appropriate amounts.  Dark chocolate contains several stimulants, like caffeine, which can enhance focus and concentration, while also helping to improve mood.  You’ll want to limit your intake to one-half ounce to 1 ounce of chocolate each day as it is high in calories and caffeine and too much of those can make you gain weight as well as cause you to be jittery and cause you to have lack of sleep.  

There are plenty of other great food sources that can improve your brain function in addition to the ones on this list.  It is important for a brain to function properly so just eating more of these foods is a great start towards improving your overall health.