June 2, 20220

Brain Food: Boost Your Brain Power by Eating Right.

Every day in our life we put everything in our body; good or bad. Have you ever wondered what each of the food you consumed does to your body and health? Ever felt your skin is more radiant or you are energetic throughout the day? Well, the good news is that you are eating right. What’s even better is that some of the food you eat can improve your brain function as well. It is known as Brain Food.

What is Brain Food? Is it real?

For starters, yes, brain food is definitely real according to several research done for over 10 years which provide exciting evidence that certain food can influence the mechanism of mental function. A nurse practitioner with Prevea neuroscience, Stephanie Garland classifies brain food as foods that contribute to healthy brain development and daily brain function.

Types of Brain Food

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli are dense with brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, kaempferol, and beta carotene. All these nutrients help in defying the aging process of our brain. It has been proven by eating one to two servings of leafy greens can make your brain not just two or three years younger, but to a huge leap of 11 years compared to those who eat less than a serving per day. This is because the nutrients play a part in protecting the brain against inflammation and neuronal damage. Now, this is the time for you to start tossing all those greens into a plate of savory salad every day!

  1. Salmon

Salmon is known for its abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids. An omega-3 fatty acid is a healthy polyunsaturated fatty acid and it is a major building block of the brain as it comprises half of the fat from the brain. Omega-3 plays a role in maintaining our cognitive abilities. These fats are essential in building brain and nerve cells. Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids are able to reduce the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein which can be found in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. However, Omega-3 fatty acids fall under the category of essential fatty acids which means they cannot be synthesized in our body and must be obtained from our diet. Other fishes that are rich with sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are albacore tuna, herring, trout, and sardines.

  1. Avocado

Avocado is one of the many fruits that are rich in fibre, lutein, and fats mainly monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fat can help in reducing our blood pressure and simultaneously increases blood flow. One of the risks of high levels of blood pressure is cognitive decline. A study from Tufts University in the US has shown that lutein has significantly improved memory and problem-solving skills. An avocado a day is all it needs to have a healthier brain.

  1. Berries

Flavonoids are one of the prominent content in berries which gives its vibrant colours and one of them is anthocyanidins. Anthocyanidin has proven its ability to improve memory in several studies. This compound helps in reducing inflammation when consumed. Aside from reducing inflammation, berries can also increase the number of new neurons, improve nerve cell transmission and cell survival which slows down the process of aging or prevent neurogenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease. Don’t forget to always include berries in your meal every day to improve brain function and uplift your mood.

  1. Garlic and Turmeric

Who has ever wonder that spices can improve our brain function. Garlic and turmeric have the ability to improve and protect our brain health. Garlic has always been known as a superfood for its source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. However, a study published in 2014 has specifically highlighted its carbohydrate derivatives identified as FruArg. FruArg in garlic has the ability to prevent and reverse brain cell damage caused by environmental stress. Other than that, it is also able to protect and heal brain cells which at the same time makes it more stress and inflammatory-resistant.

Cells in our body are prone to damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage our cells which leads to illness and aging. Curcumin in turmeric is one of its specialties and the source of its bright yellow colour. Curcumin is an antioxidant that has the ability to protect the cells against damage from free radicals. It has also been proven that with consumption of curcumin shows a significant memory improvement by 28%.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are excellent source of protein, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant molecules as well as healthy fats. Both oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) can be found abundantly in nuts and they can facilitate the growth of new brain cells. A high concentration of DHA found in walnuts serves great benefit to everyone by boosting the performance of your brain and is great at preventing age-related cognitive decline. Nuts that can help to boost brain power are walnuts, pistachio, and almond. But, be mindful with the amount of nuts that you consume in a day as it contains a high amount of fat. A little goes a long way.

  1. Dark Chocolate

Chocolates become handy when you want to ward off stress or to uplift your mood. Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients such as fibre, iron, magnesium and a source of antioxidants. Flavanols found in dark chocolates improve cognition as it has neuroprotective properties. These flavonoids will accumulate in the brain areas that are involved in learning and memory. A study shows that there is an improvement in blood flow to the brain when consumed. This will improve cognitive function, especially in older adults.


All these brain foods have similar distinct properties in maintaining and improving our brain health. These nutrients are the prime key to developing the brain as it generates the required energy for it to be functioning continuously. The lack of nutrients will impair the cognitive abilities thus, having a risk of developing age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is important for you to start incorporating all these foods into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day to reduce the risk of age-related diseases. It is time for you to train yourself to crave the right food because you are what you eat.



Ameer, K. (2016). Avocado as a major dietary source of antioxidants and its preventive role in neurodegenerative diseases. The benefits of natural products for neurodegenerative diseases, 337-354.

Benzinger, T. L., Blazey, T., Jack, C. R., Koeppe, R. A., Su, Y., Xiong, C., … & Morris, J. C. (2013). Regional variability of imaging biomarkers in autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(47), E4502-E4509.

Gómez-Pinilla, F. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci 9, 568–578 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2421

Yan, L., Xie, Y., Satyanarayanan, S. K., Zeng, H., Liu, Q., Huang, M., … & Su, H. (2020). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids promote brain-to-blood clearance of β-Amyloid in a mouse model with Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 85, 35-45.


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