10 Foods Known to Support Healthy Brain Function
We've all heard the old phrase "you are what you eat." The fact is, the foods we eat have an impact on every part of our body, including our brains. In addition to other brain-healthy lifestyle choices, implementing the right foods into your diet can be enjoyable while also supporting healthy brain function.
The good news is that the items on this list aren't boring foods. Indulge yourself with treats such as berries and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate after feasting on fish and veggies. Let's dive in and explore all of the delicious foods that help you maximize the support you provide your brain function.
1. Fatty Fish
Seafood is a sought-after food, and if you enjoy it, you'll be pleased to know that it's not just heart-healthy. Salmon, albacore tuna, trout, and sardines are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain is about 60% fat, with half of the fat in your brain being these valuable fatty acids.
If you love seafood, you don't have to stop at fish. Crustaceans and shellfish—including mussels, oysters, crayfish, clams, lobster, and shrimp—are all great sources of vitamin B12, a vitamin essential for supporting healthy brain function.
3. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder
Who's ready for some chocolate? Both cocoa powder and dark chocolate are packed with compounds that boost your brain power, including antioxidants, flavonoids, and caffeine. Flavonoids found in chocolate gather in the brain. Chocolate can also help with mild memory loss that's age-related.
Besides being delicious, berries are so versatile. You can sprinkle them in your cereal for breakfast and toss them with a salad for lunch or dinner. Try cutting strawberries into guacamole for a tangy treat.
5. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Including some vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts in your diet is an excellent part of a nutritious meal plan. Research studies show that the antioxidants found in non-starchy vegetables can provide significant benefits for supporting healthy cognitive function.
Do you love guacamole? Good news! Avocados offer healthy monounsaturated fats, the same type of fat as olive oil.
Along with providing protein, nuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that support healthy brain function. One long-term study found that, for women, eating at least five servings of nuts every week supports healthy cognitive function.
Your morning scrambled eggs or evening omelet works hard to provide your mind and body with vitamins such as B12, B6, choline, and folate. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of eggs in supporting healthy mental function.
9. Beans and Legumes
With protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber, beans and legumes are powerhouse foods that provide the folate your brain needs to thrive.
10. Leafy Green Vegetables
Consider starting your meals with a salad. Besides all of the other benefits, studies have found that greens such as kale, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants that can support healthy cognitive function as you age.
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